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■-♦ -— — ■ ■ ' 



'are of a bushy black beard and a pair of 
piercing eyes turned upon us. 


The Hound of 
The Baskervilles 


i*^ ^ = 

( ^ vvT 


Author of "The Adventures of 
Sherlock Holmes" "The Green Flag" etc. 




an oouMTRT urs pbbss, QAatowm civr, s. f . 

My Dear . Robinson : 

It was your account ot a west country legend 
which first suggested the idea of this little tale 
to my mind. 

For this, and for the help which you gave me 
in its evolution^ all thanks. 

Yours most truly^ 


/id 5? 

A Table of the Contents 

I. Mr. Sherlock Holmes i 

II. The Curse of the Baskervilles • • • • ii 

III. The Problem 27 

IV. Sir Henry Baskerville 41 

V. Three Broken Threads 59 

VI. Baskerville Hall 75 

VII. The Stapletons of Merrifit House • • • 89 

VIII. First Report of Dr. Watson no 

IX. The Light Upon the Moor 121 

X. Extract from the Diary of Dr. Watson . 147 

XI. The Man on the Tor 162 

XII. Death on the Moor 181 

XIII. Fixing the Nets 199 

XIV. The Hound of the Baskervilles • • • • 217 

XV. A Retrospection 234 


Mr. Sherlock Holmes 

usually very late in the mornings, save up- 
on those not infrequent occasions when he 
was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. 
I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick 
which our visitor had left behind him the night be- 
fore. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous- 
headed, of the sort which is known as a " Penang 
lawyer." Just under the head was a broad silver 
band, nearly an inch across. " To James Mortimer, 
M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.," was en- 
graved upon it, with the date " 1884." It was just 
such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner 
used to carry — dignified, solid, and reassuring. 

" Well, Watson, what do you make of it? " 

Holmes was sitting with his back to me^ and I 
had given him no sign of my occupation. 

" How did you know what I was doing? I be- 
lieve you have eyes in the back of your head." 

" I have, at least, a well-polished silver-plated 
coffee-pot in front of me," said he. " But, tell me, 
Watson, what do vou make of our visitor's stick? 
Since we have been so unfortunate as to miss him 
and have no notion of his errand, this accidental 


souvenir becomes of importance. Let me hear you 
reconstruct the man by an examination of it." 

" I think," said I, following as far as I could the 
methods of my companion, " that Dr. Mortimer is 
a successful elderly medical man, well-esteemed, 
since those who know him give him this mark of 
their appreciation." 

" Good ! " said Holmes. " Excellent ! " 

" I think also that the probability is in favour oi 
his being a country practitioner who does a great 
deal of his visiting on foot." 

'' Why so? " 

".Because this stick, though originally a very 
handsome one, has been so knocked about that T 
can hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it. 
The thick iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident 
that he has done a great amount of walking with it." 
Perfectly sound ! " said Holmes. 
And then again, there is the * friends of the 
C.C.H.' I should guess that to be the Something 
Hunt, the local hunt to whose members he has pos- 
sibly given some surgical assistance, and which has 
made him a small presentation in return." 

" Really, Watson, you excel yourself," said 
Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigar- 
ette. " I am bound to say that in all the accounts 
which you have been so good as to give of my own 
small achievements you have habitually underrated 
your own abilities. It may be that you are not 
yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. 



Some people without possessing genius have a 
markable power of stimulating it. I confess, my 
dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt." 

He had never said as much before, and I must 
admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I 
had often been piqued by his indifference to my ad- 
miration and to the attempts which I had made to 
give publicity to his methods. I was proud too to 
think that I had so far mastered his system as to 
apply it in a way which earned his approval. He 
now took the stick from my hands and examined it 
for a few minutes with his naked eyes. Then with 
an expression of interest he laid down his cigarette 
and, carrying the cane to the window, he looked 
over it again with a convex lens. 

" Interesting, though elementary," said he, as he 
returned to his favourite comer of the settee. 
•* There are certainly one or two indications upon 
the stick. It gives us the basis for several deduc** 

" Has anything escaped me? " I asked, with some 
self-importance. " I trust that there is nothing of 
consequence which I have overlooked? " 

" I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your 
conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you 
stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting 
your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the 
truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this ifi-^ 
stance. The man is certainly a country prad^ 
tioner. And he walks a good deal." 



" Then I was right/' 

" To that extent." 

" But that was all/' 

" No, no, my dear Watson, not all — ^by no meani 
all. I would suggest, for example, that a presenta- 
tion to a doctor is more likely to come from a 
hospital than from a hunt, and that when the in* 
itials *C,C.* are placed before that hospital the 
words * Charing Cross ' very naturally suggest 

" You may be right." 

" The probability lies in that direction. And if 
we take this as a working hypothesis we have a fresh 
basis from which to start our construction of this 
unknown visitor." 

" Well, then, supposing that * C.C.H.' does stand 
for 'Charing Cross Hospital/ what further infer- 
ences may we draw? " 

" Do none suggest themselves? You know mj 
methods. Apply them! " 

" I can only think of the obvious conclusion that 
the man has practised in town before going to the 

" I think that we might venture a little farther 
than this. Look at it in this light. On what occa- 
sion would it be most probable that such a presenta- 
tion would be made? When would his friends unite 
to give him a pledge of their good will? Obviously 
at the moment when Dr. Mortimer withdrew from 
the service of the hospital in order to starf in prae« 



tice for himself. We know there has been a pres* 
cntation. We believe there has been a change 
from a town hospital to a country practice. Is it, 
then, stretching our inference too far to say that the 
presentation was on the occasion of the change? " 

" It certainly seems probable." 

" Now, you will observe that he could not have 
been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man 
well-established in a London practice could hold 
such a position, and such a one would not drift into 
the country. What was he, then? If he was in 
the iiospital and yet not on the staff he could only 
have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician-* 
little more than a senior student. And he left five 
years ago — the date is on the stick. So your grave, 
middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin 
air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young 
fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent^* 
minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which 
I should describe roughly as being larger than a 
terrier and smaller than a mastiff." 

I laughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes 
leaned back in his settee and blew little wavering 
rings of smoke up to the ceiling. 

" As to the latter part, I have no means of check* 
ing you," said I, " but at least it is not difficult to 
find out a few particulars about the man's age and 
professional career." From my small medical shell 
I took down the Medical Directory and turned up 
the name. There were several Mortimers, but ool]; 



one who could be our visitor. I read his record 

" Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, 
Dartmoor, Devon. House surgeon, from 1882 to 
1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner of the 
Jackson prize for Comparative Pathology, with es- 
say entitled * Is Disease a Reversion? ' Correspond- 
ing member of the Swedish Pathological Society. 
Author of * Some Freaks of Atavism ' (Lancet, 
1882). * Do We Progress? ' (Journal of Psychol- 
ogy, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the par- 
ishes of Grimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow.'* 

" No mention of that local hunt, Watson," said 
Holmes, with a mischievous smile, " but a country 
doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that 
I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the 
adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, un- 
ambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience 
that it is only an amiable man in this world who 
receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who 
abandons a London career for the country, and only 
an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not 
his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your 


" And the dog? '' 

" Has been in the habit of carrying this stick be- 
hind his master. Being a heavy stick the dog has 
held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his 
teeth are very plainly visible. The dog's jaw, as 
shown in the space between these marks, is too 



broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad 
enough for a mastiff. It may have been — ^yes, by 
Jove, it if a curly-haired spaniel." 

He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. 
Now he halted in the recess of the window. There 
was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I 
glanced up in surprise. 

" My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so 
sure of that? " 

" For the very simple reason that I see the dog 
himself on our very door-step, and there is the ring 
of its owner. Don't move, I beg you, Watson. 
He is a professional brother of yours, and your pres- 
ence may be of assistance to me. Now is the dra- 
matic moment of fate, Watson, when you hear a 
step upon the stair which is .walking into your life, 
and you know not whether for good or ill. What 
does Dr. James Mortimer, the man of science, ask 
of Sherlock Holmes, the specialist in crime? Come 

The appearance of our visitor was a surprise to 
me, since I had expected a typical country practi- 
tioner. He was a very tall, thin man, with a long 
nose like a beak, which jutted out between two 
keen, grey eyes, set closely together and sparkling 
brightly from behind a pair of gold-rimmed glasses. 
He was clad in a professional but rather slovenly 
fashion, for his frock-coat was dingy and his trousers 
frayed. Though young, his long back was already 
bowed, and he walked with a forward thrust of his 



head and a general air of peering benevolence. As 
he entered his eyes fell upon the stick in Holmes's 
hand, and he ran towards it with an exclamation 
of joy. " I am so very glad/' said he. " I was not 
sure whether I had left it here or in the Shippings 
Office. I would not lose that stick for the world/' 

** A presentation, I see/' said Holmes, v 

" Yes, sir." 

*' From Charing Cross Hospital? " 

" From one or two friends there on the occasion 
of my marriage." 

*' Dear, dear, that's bad I " said Holmes, shaking 
his head. 

Dr. Mortimer blinked through his glasses in mild 

" Why was it bad? " 

" Only that you have disarranged our little de* 
ductions. Your marriage, you say? " 

" Yes, sir. I married, and so left the hospital, 
and with it all hopes of a consulting practice. It 
was necessary to make a home of my own." 

" Come, come, we are not so far wrong after all," 
saall Holmes. "And now, Dr. James Morti- 

mer " 


Mister, sir. Mister — ^a humble M.R.C.S." 
*' And a man of precise mind, evidently." 
" A dabbler in science, Mr. Holmes, a picker up 
of shells on the shores of the great unknoWn ocean. 
I presume that it is Mr. Sherlock Holmes whom I 
addressing and not ^" 


** No, this is my friend Dn Watson." 

" Glad to meet you, sir. I have heard your name 
mentioned in connection with that of your friend. 
You interest me very much, Mr. Holmes. I had 
hardly expected so dolichocephalic a skull or such 
well-marked supra-orbital development. Would 
you have any objection to my running my finger 
along your parietal fissure? A cast of your skull, 
sir, until the original is available, would be an orna- 
ment to any anthropological museum. It is not my 
intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet 
your skull." 

Sherlock Holmes waved our strange visitor into 
a chair. " You are an enthusiast in your line of 
thought, I perceive, sir, as I am in mine," said he. 
" I observe from your forefinger that you make 
your own cigarettes. Have no hesitation in light- 
ing one." 

The man drew out paper and tobacco and twirled 
the one up in the other with surprising dexterity. 
He had long, quivering fingers as agile and restless 
as the antennae of an insect. 

Holmes was silent, but his little darting glances 
showed me the interest which he took in our curious 

" I presume, sir," said he at last, " that it was not 
merely for the purpose of examining my skull that 
you have done me the honour to call here last night 
and again to-day? " 

'* No, sir, no; though I am happy to have had 



the opportunity of doing that as well. I came to 
you, Mr. Holmes, because I recognised that I am 
myself an unpractical man, and because I am sud- 
denly confronted with a most serious and extraor- 
dinary problem. Recognising, as I do, that you are 
the second highest expert in Europe " 

" Indeed, sirl May I inquire who has the honour 
to be the first? " asked Holmes, with some asperity. 

" To the man of precisely scientific mind the work 
of Monsieur Bertillon must always appeal strongly/' 

" Then had you not better consult him? " 

** I said, sir, to the precisely scientific mind. But 
as a practical man of affairs it is acknowledged that 
you stand alone. I trust, sir, that I have not inad- 
vertently *' 

" Just a little," said Holmes. " I think. Dr. Mor- 
timer, you would do wisely if without more ado you 
would kindly tell me plainly what the exact nature 
of the problem is in which you demand my assist-- 



The Curse of the Baskervillbs 

I HAVE in my pocket a manuscript/' said Dr. 
James Mortimer. 
" I observed it as you entered the room," 
said Holmes. 

" It is an old manuscript." 

" Early eighteenth century, unless it is a forgery/* 

" How can you say that, sir? " 

" You have presented an inch or two of it to my 
examination all the time that you have been talk* 
ing. It would be a poor expert who could not give 
the date of a document within a decade or so. You 
may possibly have read my little monograph upon 
the subject. I put that at 1730." 

"The exact date is 1742." Dr. Mortimer drew 
it from his breast-pocket. " This family paper was 
committed to my care by Sir Charles Baskerville, 
whose sudden and tragic death some three months 
ago created so much excitement in Devonshire. I 
may say that I was his personal friend as well as his 
medical attendant. He was a strong-minded man^ 
sir, shrewd, practical, and as unimaginative as I am 
myself. Yet he took this document very seriously, 
and his mind was prepared for just such an end af 
did eventually overtake him/' 



Holmes stretched out his hand for the manuscript 
and flattened it upon his knee. 

" You will observe, Watson, the alternative use 
of the long s and the short. It is one of several 
indications which enabled me to fix the date." 

I looked over his shoulder at the yellow paper 
and the faded script. At the head was written: 
** Baskerville Hall," and below, in large, scrawling 
figures: " 1742." 

" It appears to be a statement of some sort." 

" Yes, it is a statement of a certain legend which 
runs in the Baskerville family." 

" But I understand that it is something more 
modern and practical upon which you wish to con- 
sult me? " 

" Most modem. A most practical, pressing mat- 
ter, which must be decided within twenty-four 
hours. But the manuscript is short and is intimate- 
ly connected with the affair. With your permission 
I will read it to yoii." 

Holmes leaned back in his chair, placed his fin- 
ger-tips together, and closed his eyes, with an air 
of resignation. Dr. Mortimer turned the manu- 
Bcript to the light and read in a high, crackling voice 
the following curious, old-world narrative: — 

" Of the origin of the Hound of the Baskervilles 
there have been many statements, yet as I come in 
a direct line from Hugo Baskerville, and as I had 
the story from my father, who also had it from his, 
X have set it down with all belief that it occurred 


even as is here set forth. And I would have yoti 
believe, my sons, that the same Justice which pun- 
ishes sin may also most graciously forgive it, and 
that no ban is so heavy but that by prayer and re- 
pentance it may be removed. Learn then from this 
story not to fear the fruits of the past, but rather 
to be circumspect in the future, that those foul pas- 
sions whereby our family has suffered so grievously 
may not again be loosed to our undoing. 

" Know then that in the time of the Great Re- 
bellion (the history of which by the learned Lord 
Clarendon I most earnestly commend to your at- 
tention) this Manor of Baskerville was held by 
Hugo of that name, nor can it be gainsaid that he 
was a most wild, profane, and godless man. This» 
in truth, his neighbours might have pardoned, see- 
ing that saints have never flourished in those parts, 
but there was in him a certain wanton and cruel 
humour which made his name a byword through 
the West. It chanced that this Hugo came to love 
(if, indeed, so dark a passion may be known under 
«o bright a name) the daughter of a yeoman who 
held lands near the Baskerville estate. But the 
young maiden, being discreet and of good repute, 
would ever avoid him, for she feared his evil name. 
So it came to pass that one Michaelmas this Hugo, 
with five or six of his idle and wicked companions, 
stole down upon the farm and carried off the maid- 
en, her father and brothers being from home, as he 
wen knew. When they had brought her to the 


Hall the maiden was placed in an upper chamber, 
while Hugo and his friends sat down to a long 
carouse, as was their nightly custom. Now, the 
poor lass upstairs was like to have her wits turned 
at the singing and shouting and terrible oaths which 
came up to her from below, for they say that the 
words used by Hugo Baskerville, when he was in 
wine, were such as might blast the man who said 
them. At last in the stress of her fear she did that 
which might have daunted the bravest or most 
active man, for by the aid of the growth of ivy 
which covered (and still covers) the south wall she 
came down from under the eaves, and so homeward 
across the moor, there being three leagues betwixt 
the Hall and her father's farm. 

*' It chanced that some little time later Hugo left 
his guests to carry food and drink — ^with other worse 
things, perchance — ^to his captive, and so found the 
cage empty and the bird escaped. Then, as it would 
seem, he became as one that hath a devil, for, rush- 
ing down the stairs into the dining-hall, he sprang 
upon the great table, flagons and trenchers flying 
before him, and he cried aloud before all the com- 
pany that he would that very night render his body 
and soul to the Powers of Evil if he might but over- 
take the wench. And while the revellers stood 
aghast at the fury of the man, one more wicked or, 
it may be, more drunken than the rest, cried out 
that they should put the hounds upon her. Where- 
at Hugo ran from the house, crying to his groomi 



that they should saddle his mare and unkennel the 
pack, and giving the hounds a kerchief of the maid's, 
he swung them to the line, and so off full cry in the 
moonlight over the moor. 

" Now, for some space the revellers stood agape, 
unable to understand all that had been done in such 
haste. But anon their bemused wits awoke to the 
nature of the deed which was like to be done upon 
the moorlands. Everything was now in an uproar, 
some calling for their pistols, some for their horses, 
and some for another flask of wine. But at length 
some sense came back to their crazed minds, and 
the whole of them, thirteen in number, took horse 
and started in pursuit. The moon shone clear 
above them, and they rode swiftly abreast, taking 
that course which the maid must needs have taken 
if she were to reach her own home. 

" They had gone a mile or two when they passed 
one of the night shepherds upon the moorlands, and 
they cried to him to know if he had seen the hunt. 
And the man, as the story goes, was so crazed with 
fear that he could scarce speak, but at last he said 
that he had indeed seen the unhappy maiden, with 
the hounds upon her track. * But I have seen more 
than that,' said he, * for Hugo Baskerville passed 
me upon his black mare, and there ran mute behind 
him such a hound of hell as God forbid should ever 
be at my. heels.' So the drunken squires cursed the 
shepherd and rode onwards. But soon their skins 
turned cold, for there came a galloping across the 



tnoor^ and the black mare, dabbled with white froth, 
went past with trailing bridle and empty saddle. 
Then the revellers rode close together, for a great 
fear was on them, but they still followed over the 
moor, though each, had he been alone, would have 
been right glad to have turned his horse's head. 
Riding slowly in this fashion they came at last upon 
the hounds. These, though known for their valour 
and their breed, were whimpering in a cluster at the 
head of a deep dip or goyal, as we call it, upon the 
moor, some slinking away and some, with starting 
hackles and staring eyes, gazing down the narrow 
valley before them. 

" The company had come to a halt, more sober 
men, as you may guess, than when they started. 
The most of them would by no means advance, but 
three of them, the boldest, or it may be the most 
drunken, rode forward down the goyal. Now, it 
opened into a broad space in which stood two of 
those great stones, still to be seen there, which were 
set by certain forgotten peoples in the days of old. 
The moon was shining bright upon the clearing, and 
there in the centre lay the unhappy maid where she 
had fallen, dead of fear and of fatigue. But it was 
not the sight of her body, nor yet was it that of the 
body of Hugo Baskerville lying near her, which 
raised the hair upon the heads of these three dare- 
devil roysterers, but it was that, standing over 
Hugo, and plucking at his throat, there stood a foul 
thing, a great, black beast, shaped Hki a hound« yet 



larger than any hound that ever mortal eye has 
rested upon. And even as they looked the thing 
tore the throat out of Hugo Baskerville, on which, 
as it turned its blazing eyes and dripping jaws upon 
them, the three shrieked with fear and rode for dear 
life, still screaming, across the moor. One, it is 
said, died that very night of what he had seen, and 
the other twain were but broken men for the rest 
of their days. 

" Such is the tale, my sons, of the coming of the 
hound which is said to have plagued the family so 
sorely ever since. If I have set it down it is be- 
cause that which is clearly known hath less terror 
than that which is but hinted at and guessed. Nor 
can it be denied that many of the family have been 
unhappy in their deaths, which have been sudden, 
-oloody, and mysterious. Yet may we shelter out- 
selves in the infinite goodness of Providence, whicJ 
would not forever punish the innocent beyond thai 
third or fourth generation which is threatened 
in Holy Writ. To that Providence, my sons, I 
hereby commend you, and I counsel you by 
way of caution to forbear from crossing the moor 
in those dark hours when the powers of evil are 

" [This from Hugo Baskerville to his sons 
Rodger and John, with instructions that they say 
nothing thereof to their sister Elizabeth.] " 

When Dr. Mortimer had finished reading this 
singular narrative he pushed his spectacles up on 



his forehead and stared across at Mr. Sherlock 
Holmes. The latter yawned and tossed the end 
of his cigarette into the fire. 

"Well?" said he. 

" Do you not find it interesting? " 

" To a collector of fairy tales." 

Dr. Mortimer drew a folded newspaper out of his 

" Now, Mr. Holmes, we will give you something' 
a little more recent. This is the Devon County 
Chronicle of May 14th of this year. , It is a short 
account of the facts elicited at the death of Sir 
Charles Baskerville which occurred a few days be- 
fore that date." 

My friend leaned a little forward and his expres- 
sion became intent. Our visitor readjusted his 
glasses and began : — 

" The recent sudden death of Sir Charles Basker- 
ville, whose name has been mentioned as the prob^ 
able Liberal candidate for Mid-Devon at the next 
election, has cast a gloom over the county. Though 
Sir Charles had resided at Baskerville Hall for a 
tomparatively short period his amiability of charac- 
ter and extreme generosity had won the affection 
and respect of all who had been brought into con- 
tact with him. In these days of nouveaux riches it 
is refreshing to find a case where the scion of an old 
county family which has fallen upon evil days is able 
to make his own fortune and to bring it back with 
him to restore the fallen grandeur of his line. Sir 



Charles, as is well known, made large sums of money 
in South African speculation. More wise than 
those who go on until the wheel turns against them, 
he realized his gains and returned to England with 
them. It is only two years since he took up his 
residence at Baskerville Hall, and it is common talk 
how large were those schemes of reconstruction and 
improvement which have been interrupted by his 
death. Being himself childless, it was his openly 
expressed desire that the whole cpuntryside should, 
within his own lifetime, profit by his good fortune, 
and many will have personal reasons for bewailing 
his untimely end. His generous donations to local 
and county charities have been frequently chroni- 
cled in these columns. 

" The circumstances connected with the death of 
Sir Charles cannot be said to have been entirely 
cleared up by the inquest, but at least enough has 
been done to dispose of those rumours to which 
local superstition has givtn rise. There is no rea- 
son whatever to suspect foul play, or to imagine that 
death could be from any but natural causes. Sir 
Charles was a widower, and a man who may be said 
to have been in some ways of an eccentric habit of 
mind. In spite of his considerable wealth he was 
simple in his personal tastes, and his indoor servants 
at Baskerville Hall consisted of a married couple 
named Barrymcre, the husband acting as butler and 
the wife as housekeeper. Their evidence, corrobo- 
rated by that of several friends, tends to show that 



Sir Charles's health has for some time been im- 
paired, and points especially to some affection of the 
heart, manifesting itself in changes of colour, breath- 
lessness, and acute attacks of ner/ous depression. 
Dr. James Mortimer, the friend and medical at- 
tendant of the deceased, has given evidence to the 
same effect. 

" The facts of the case are simple. Sir Charles 
Baskerville was in the habit every night before go- 
ing to bed of walking down the famous Yew Alley 
of Baskerville Hall. The evidence of the Barry- 
mores shows that this had been his custom. On 
the 4th of May Sir Charles had declared his inten- 
tion of starting next day for London, and had or- 
dered Barrymore to prepare his luggage. That 
night he went out as usual for his nocturnal walk, 
in the course of which he was in the habit of smok- 
ing a cigar. He never returned. At twelve o'clock 
Barrymore, finding the hall door still open, became 
alarmed, and, lighting a lantern, went in search of 
his master. The day had been wet, and Sir 
Charles's footmarks were easily traced down the Al- 
ley. Half-way down this walk there is a gate which 
leads out on to the moor. There were indications 
that Sir Charles had stood for some little time here. 
He then proceeded down the Alley, and it was at 
the far end of it that his body was discovered. One 
fact which has not been explained is the statement 
of Barrymore that his master's footprints altered 
their character from the time that he passed the 



moor-gate, and that he appeared from thence on- 
wards to have been walking upon his toes. One 
Murphy, a gipsy horse-dealer, was on the moor at 
no great distance at the time, but he appears by his 
own confession to have been the worse for drink. 
He declares that he heard cries, but is unable to 
state from what direction they came. No signs of 
violence were to be discovered upon Sir Charles's 
person, and though the doctor's evidence pointed 
to an almost incredible facial distortion — so great 
that Dr. Mortimer refused at first to believe that it 
was indeed his friend and patient who lay before 
him — it was explained that that is a symptom which 
is not unusual in cases of dyspnoea and death 
from cardiac exhaustion. This explanation was 
borne out by the post-mortem examination, which 
showed long-standing organic disease, and the coro- 
ner's jury returned a verdict in accordance with the 
medical evidence. It is well that this is so, for it 
is obviously of the utmost importance that Sir 
Charles's heir should settle at the Hall and continue 
the good work which has been so sadly interrupted. 
Had the prosaic finding of the coroner not finally 
put an end to the romantic stories which have been 
whispered in connection with the affair, it might 
have been difficult to find a tenant for Baskerville 
Hall. It is understood that the next-of-kin is Mr. 
Henry Baskerville, if he be still alive, the son of Sir 
Charles Baskerville's younger brother. The young 
man when last heard of was in America, and iii- 



quiries are being instituted with a view to inform- 
ing him of his good fortune." 

Dr. Mortimer refolded his paper and replaced it 
in his pocket. 

" Those are the public facts, Mr. Holmes, in con- 
nection with the death of Sir Charles Baskerville." 

" I must thank you," said Sherlock Holmes, " for 
calling my attention to a case which certainly pre- 
sents some features of interest. I had observed 
some newspaper comment at the time, but I was ex- 
ceedingly preoccupied by that little aflfair of the 
Vatican cameos, and in my anxiety to oblige the 
Pope I lost touch with several interesting English 
cases. This article, you say, contains all the public 
facts? " 

" It does." 

"Then let me have the private ones." He 
leaned back, put his finger-tips together, and as- 
sumed his most impassive and judicial expression. 

" In doing so," said Dr. Mortimer, who had be^ 
gun to show signs of some strong emotion, " I am 
telling that which I have not confided to anyone. 
My motive for withholding it from the coroner^f 
inquiry is that a man of science shrinks from placing 
himself in the public position of seeming to indorse 
a popular superstition. I had the further motive 
that Baskerville Hall, as the paper says, would cer- 
tainly remain untenanted if anything were done to 
increase its already rather grim reputation. For 
both these reasons I thought that I was justified in 



telling rather less than I knew, since no practical 
good could result from it, but with you there is no 
reason why I should not be perfectly frank. 

" The moor is very sparsely inhabited, and those 
who live near each other are thrown very much to- 
gether. For this reason I saw a good deal of Sir 
Charles Baskerville. With the exception of Mr. 
Frankland, of Lafter Hall, and Mr. Stapleton, the 
naturalist, there are no other men of education with- 
in many miles. Sir Charles was a retiring man, but 
the chance of his illness brought us together, and a 
community of mterests in science kept us so. He 
had brought back much scientific information from 
South Africa, and many a charming evening we 
have spent together discussing the comparative 
anatomy of the Bushman and the Hottentot. 

" Within the last few months it became increas- 
ingly plain to me that Sir Charles's nervous system 
was strained to the breaking point. He had taken 
this legend which I have read you exceedingly to 
heart — so much so that, although he would walk in 
his own grounds, nothing would induce him to go 
out upon the moor at night. Incredible as it may 
appear to you, Mr. Holmes, he was honestly con- 
vinced that a dreadful fate overhung his family, and 
certainly the records which he was able to give of 
his ancestors were not encouraging. The idea of 
some ghastly presence constantly haunted him, and 
on more than one occasion he has asked me 
whether I had on my medical journeys at night 



ever seen any strange creature or heard the baying 
of a hound. The latter question he put to me sev- 
eral times, and always with a voice which vibrated 
with excitement. 

" I C2^ well remember driving up to his house in 
the evening, some three weeks before the fatal 
event. He chanced to be at his hall door. I had 
descended from my gig and was standing in front 
of him, when I saw his eyes fix themselves over my 
shoulder, and stare past me with an expression of 
the most dreadful horror. I whisked round and 
had just time to catch a glimpse of something which 
I took to be a large black calf passing at the head 
of the drive. So excited and alarmed was he that 
I was compelled to go down to the spot where the 
animal had been and look around for it. It was 
gone, however, and the incident appeared to make 
the worst impression upon his mind. I stayed with 
him all the evening, and it was on that occasion, to 
explain the emotion which he had shown, that he 
confided to my keeping that narrative which I read 
to you when first I came. I mention this small 
episode because it assumes some importance in view 
of the tragedy which followed, but I was convinced 
at the time that the matter was entirely trivial and 
that his excitement had no justification. 

" It was at my advice that Sir Charles was about 
to go to London. His heart was, I knew, affected, 
and the constant anxiety in which he lived, however 
chimerical the cause of it might be, was evidently 


having a serious effect upon his health. I thought 
that a few months among the distractions of town 
would send him back a new man. Mr. Stapleton/ 
a mutual friend who was much concerned at his 
state of health, was of the same opinion. At the 
last instant came this terrible catastrophe. 

" On the night of Sir Charles's death Banymore 
the butler, who made the discovery, sent Perkins the 
groom on horseback to me, and as I was sitting up 
late I was able to reach Baskerville Hall within an 
hour of the event. I checked and corroborated all 
the facts which were mentioned at the inquest. I 
followed the footsteps down the Yew Alley, I saw 
the spot at the moor-gate where he seemed to have 
waited, I remarked the change in the shape of the 
prints after that point, I noted that there were no 
other footsteps save those of Banymore on the soft 
gravel, and finally I carefully examined the body, 
which had not been touched until my arrival. Sir 
Charles lay on his face, his arms out, his fingers dug 
into the ground, and his features convulsed with 
some strong emotion to such an extent that I could 
hardly have sworn to his identity. There was cer- 
tainly no physical injury of any kind. But one false 
statement was made by Banymore at the inquest. 
He said that there were no traces upon the grotmd 
round the body. He did not observe any. But I 
did — some little distance off, but fresh and clear/' 

Footprints? " 




" A man's or a woman's? " 

Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an in- 
stant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he 
answered : — 

" Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a 
gigantic hound I " 



The Problem 

I CONFESS that at these words a shudder 
passed through me. There was a thrill in the 
doctor's voice which showed that he was him- 
self deeply moved by that which he told us. Holmes 
leaned forward in his excitement and his eyes had 
the hard, dry glitter which shot from them when 
he was keenly interested. 

" You saw this? " 

" As clearly as I see you." 

" And you said nothing? " 

** What was the use? " 

" How was it that no one else saw it? " 

"The marks were some twenty yards from tht 
body and no one gave them a thought. I don't 
suppose I should have done so had I not known 
this legend." 

" There are many sheep-dogs on the moor? " 

" No doubt, but this was no sheep-dog." 

" You say it was large? " 

" Enormous." 

" But it had not approached the body? " 

" No." 

*' What sort of night was it? *• 



" Damp and rawJ 

" But not actually raining? 

" No." 

"What is the alley like?" 

" There are two lines of old yew hedge, twelve 
feet high and impenetrable. The walk in the cen- 
tre is about eight feet across." 

" Is there anything between the hedges and the 

" Yes, there is a strip of grass about six feet 
broad on either side." 

" I understand that the yew hedge is penetrated 
%t one point by a gate? " 

" Yes, the wicket-gate which leads on to the 


Is there any other opening? 

" None." 

" So that to reach the Yew Alley one either has 
to come down it from the house or else to enter it 
by the moor-gate? " 

" There is an exit through a summer-house at the 
lar end." 

" Had Sir Charles reached this? " 
No; he lay about fifty yards from it." 
Now, tell me, Dr. Mortimer — and this is im- 
portant — the marks which you saw were on the 
path and not on the grass? " 

" No marks could show on the grass." 

" Were they on the same side of the path as the » 

tnoor-gate? " \ 



X . 


" Yes ; they were on the edge of the path on the 
same side as the moor-gate." 

" You interest me exceedingly. Another point. 
Was the wicket-gate closed? " 

" Closed and padlocked." 

" How high was it? " 

" About four feet high." 

" Then anyone could have got over it? " 

'' Yes." 

"And what marks did you see by the wicket- 
gate? " 

" None in particular." *■ 

" Good Heaven! Did no one examine? " 

" Yes, I examined myself." 

" And found nothing? " 

" It was all very confused. Sir Charles had evi- 
dently stood there for five or ten minutes." 

" How do you know that? " 

" Because the ash had twice dropped from his 

" Excellent! This is a colleague, Watson, after 
our own heart. But the marks? " 

" He had left his own marks all over that small 
patch of gravel. I could discern no others." 

Sherlock Holmes struck his hand against his knee 
with an impatient gesture. 

" If I had only been there! " he cried. " It is evi- 
dently a case of extraordinary interest, and one 
which presented immense opportunities to the sci- 
entific expert. That gravel page upon which I 



might have read so much has been long ere this 
smudged by the rain and defaced by the clogs of 
curious peasants. Oh, Dr. Mortimer, Dr. Morti- 
mer, to think that you should not have called me 
in! You have indeed much to answer for." 

" I could not call you in, Mr. Holmes, without 
disclosing these facts to the world, and I have al- 
ready given my reasons for not wishing to do so. 
Besides, besides " 

" Why do you hesitate? " 

" There is a realm in which the most acute and 
most experienced of detectives is helpless." 

" You mean that the thing is supernatural? " 

" I did not positively say so." 

" No, but you evidently think it." 

"Since the tragedy, Mr. Holmes, there have 
come to my ears several incidents which are hard 
to reconcile with the settled order of Nature." 

" For example? " 

" I find that before the terrjble event occurred 
several people had seen a creature upon the moor 
which corresponds with this Baskerville demon, and 
which could not possibly be any animal known to 
ecience. They all agreed that it was a huge creat- 
ure, luminous, ghastly, and spectral. I have cross- 
-examined these men, one of them a hard-headed 
<:ountryman, one a farrier, and one a moorland 
farmer, who all tell the same story of this dreadful 
apparition, exactly corresponding to the hell-hound 
of the legend. I assure you that there is a reigil 



of terror in the district and that it is a hardy man 
who will cross the moor at night." 

" And you, a trained man of science, believe it to 
be supernatural? " 

" I do not know what to believe." 

Holmes shrugged his shoulders. 

" I have hitherto confined my investigations to 
this world," said he. " In a modest way I have 
combated evil, but to take on the Father of Evil 
himself would, perhaps, be too ambitious a task. 
Yet you must admit that the footmark is material." 

" The original hound was material enough to tug 
a man's throat out, and yet he was diabolical as 

" I see that you have quite gone over to the str- 
pematuralists. But now, Dr. Mortimer, tell me 
this. If you hold these views, why have you come 
to consult me at all? You tell me in the same 
breath that it is useless to investigate Sir Charles's 
death, and that you desire me to do it." 

" I did not say that I desired you to do it." 

" Then, how can I assist you? " 

" By advising me as to what I should do with Sir 
Henry Baskerville, who arrives at Waterloo Sta- 
tion*' — Dr. Mortimer looked at his watch — " in ex- 
actly one hour and a quarter." 

" He being the heir? " 

" Yes. On the death of Sir Charles we inquired 
for this young gentleman, and found that he had 
been farming in Canada. From the accounts which 



have reached us he is an excellent fellow in every 
way. I speak now not as a medical man but as a 
trustee and executor of Sir Charles's will." 

" There is no other claimant, I presume? " 

" None. The only other kinsman whom we have 
been able to trace was Rodger Baskerville, the 
youngest of three brothers of whom poor Sir 
Charles was the elder. The second brother, who 
died young, is the father of this lad Henry. The , 
third, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family.^ 
He came of the old masterful Baskerville strain, and 
was the very image, they tell me, of the family pict- 
ure of old Hugo. He made England too hot to 
hold him, fled to Central America, and died there 
in 1876 of yellow fever. Henry is the last of the 
Baskervilles. In one hour and five minutes I meet 
him at Waterloo Station. I have had a wire that 
he arrived at Southampton this morning. Now, 
Mr. Holmes, what would you advise me to do with 

"Why should he not go to the home of his 
fathers? " 

" It seems natural, does it not? And yet, con- 
sider that every Baskerville who goes there meets 
with an evil fate. I feel sure that if Sir Charles 
could have spoken with me before his death he 
would have warned me against bringing this the 
last of the old race, and the heir to great wealth, to 
that deadly place. And yet it cannot be denied that 
the prosperity of the whole poor, bleak country-side 


depends upon his presence. All the good woilc 
^vhicli has been done by Sir Charles will crash to 
the gprotind if there is no tenant of the Hall. I fear 
lest I should be swayed too much by my own ob- 
vious interest in the matter, and that is why I bring 
the case before you and ask for your advice." 
Holmes considered for a little time. 
** Put into plain words, the matter is this,** said 
be. ** In your opinion there is a diabolical agency 
which makes Dartmoor an unsafe abode for a Bas» 
kerville — ^that is your opinion? ** 

*' At least I might go the length of saying that 
there is some evidence that this may be so.'' 

** Exactly. But surely, if your supernatural the» 
ory be correct, it could work the young man evil iK 
London as easily as in Devonshire. A devil witbi 
merely local powers like a parisn vestry would b^ 
too inconceivable a thing." 

'*You put the matter more flippantly, Mh 
Holmes, than you would probably do if you were 
brought into personal contact with these things. 
Your advice, then, as I understand it, is that the 
young man will be as safe in Devonshire as in Lon* 
don. He comes in fifty minutes. What would you 
recommend? ** 

'* I recommend, sir, that you take a cab, call oflf 
your spaniel who is scratching at my front door, 
ind proceed to Waterloo to meet Sir Henry Bas« 
"And then?** 



''And then you will say nothing to him at all 
fintil I have made up my mind about the matter." 

" How long will it take you to make up your 
mind? '' 

"Twenty-four hours. At ten o'clock to-mor- 
row. Dr. Mortimer, I will be much obliged to you 
if you will call upon me here, and it will be of help 
to me in my plans for the future if you will bring 
Sir Henry Baskerville with you." 

** I will do so, Mr. Holmes." He scribbled the 
appointment on his shirt cuff and hurried off in his 
strange, peering, absent-minded fashion. Holmes 
stopped him at the head of the stair. 

" Only one more question, Dr. Mortimer. You 
say that before Sir Charles Baskerville's death sev- 
end people saw this apparition upon the moor? " 

" Three people did." 

** Did any see it after? " 

^ I have not heard of any.** 

^ Thank you. Good morning.** 

Holmes returned to his seat with that quiet look 
of inward satisfaction which meant that he had a 
congenial task before him. 

" Going out, Watson? " 

" Unless I can help you." 

" No, my dear fellow, it is at the hour of action 
that I turn to you for aid. But this is splendid* 
really unique from some points of view. When you 
pass Bradley's would you ask him to send up a 
(xmnd of the strongest shag tobacco? Thank yoUf 



ft would be as well if you could make it convenient 
not to return before evening. Then I should be 
very glad to compare impressions as to this most 
interesting problem which has been submitted to us 
this morning." 

I knew that seclusion and solitude were ver/ 
necessary for my friend in those hours of intense 
mental concentration during which he weighed 
every particle of evidence, constructed alternative 
theories, balanced one against the other, and made 
up his mind as to which points were essential and 
which immaterial. I therefore spent the day at my 
club and did not return to Baker Street until even- 
ing. It was nearly nine o'clock when I found my- 
self in the sitting-room once more. 

My first impression as I opened the door was that 
a fire had broken out, for the room was so filled 
with smoke that the light of the lamp upon the 
table was blurred by it. As I entered, however, my 
fears were set at rest, for it was the acrid fumes of 
strong coarse tobacco which took me by the throat 
and set me coughing. Through the haze I had a 
vague vision of Holmes in his dressing-gown coiled 
up in an arm-chair with his black clay pipe between 
his lips. Several rolls of paper lay around him- 

" Caught cold, Watson? " said he. 

" No, it's this poisonous atmosphere." 

" I suppose it is pretty thick, now that you mea« 
tion it." 

"Thick! It is intolerable." 




"Open the window, thcnl You have Keen at 
your club all day, I perceive." 

•* My dear HolmesI " 

•*Am I right?'' 

•* Certainly, but how ? 

He laughed at my bewildered expression. 

** There is a delightful freshness about you, Wat- 
son, which makes it a pleasure to exercise any small 
powers which I possess at your expense. A gentle- 
man goes forth on a showery arid miry day. He 
returns immaculate in the evening with the gloss 
still on his hat and his boots. He has been a fixture 
therefore all day. He is not a man with intimate 
friends. Where, then, could he have been? Is it 
not obvious? '* 

" Well, it is rather obvious." 

** The world is full of obvious things which no- 
body by any chance ever observes. Where do you 
think that I have been? " 

" A fixture also." 

" On the contrary, I have been to Devonshire." 

" In spirit? " 

" Exactly. My body has remained in this arm- 
chair, and has, I regret to observe, consumed in my 
absence two large pots of coffee and an incredible 
amount of tobacco. After you left I sent down to 
Stamford's for the Ordnance map of this portion o! 
the moor, and my spirit has hovered over it all day, 
I flatter myself that I could find my way about." 

*" A large scale map, I presume? " 




Very large." He unrolled one section and held 
it over his knee. " Here you have the particular 
district which concerns us. That is Baskerville 
HaU in the middle." 

" With a wood round it? " 
" Exactly. I fancy the Yew Alley, though not 
marked under that name, must stretch along this 
line, with the moor, as you perceive, upon the right 
of it. This small clump of buildings here is the 
hamlet of Grimpen, where our friend Dr. Mortimer 
has his head^quarters. Within a radius of five miles 
there are, as you see, only a very few scattered dwell- 
ings. Here is Lafter Hall, which was mentioned in 
the narrative. There is a house indicated here 
which may be the residence of the naturalist — Sta- 
pleton, if I remember right, was his name. Here 
are two moorland farm-houses. High Tor and Foul- 
mire. Then fourteen miles away the great convict 
prison of Princetown. Between and around these 
scattered points extends the desolate, lifeless moor. 
This, then, is the stage upon which tragedy has been 
played, and upon which we may help to play it 
" It must be a wild place." 
" Yes, the setting is a worthy one. If the devil 

did desire to have a hand in the affairs of men ** 

"Then you are yourself inclining to the super- 
natural explanation." 

" The devil's agents may be of flesh and blood, 
may they not? There are two questions waiting for 



US at the outset. The one is whether any crime has 
been committed at all; the second is, what is the 
crime and how was it committed? Of course, if 
Dr. Mortimer's surmise should be correct, and we 
are dealing with forces outside the ordinary laws of 
Nature, there is an end of our investigation. But 
we are bound to exhaust all other hypotheses before 
falling back upon this one. I think we'll shut that 
window again, if you don't mind. It is a singular 
thing, but 1 find that a concentrated atmosphere 
helps a concentration of thought. I have not 
pushed it to the length of getting into a box to 
think, but that is the logical outcome of my con- 
victions. Have you turned the case over in your 
mind? '' 

" Yes, I have thought a good deal of it in the 
course of the day." 

" What do you make of it? '' 

" It is very bewildering." 

" It has certainly a character of its own. There 
are points of distinction about it. That change in 
the footprints, for example. What do you make of 
that? " 

" Mortimer said that the man had walked on tip- 
toe down that portion of the alley." 

" He only repeated what some fool had said at 
the inquest. Why should a man walk on tiptoe 
down the alley? " 

"What then?" 

'* He was running, Watson — ^running desperate- 



ly, running for his life, running until he burst his 
heart and fell dead upon his face/' 

" Running from what? " 

" There lies our problem. There are indications 
that the man was crazed with fear before ever he 
began to run." 

" How can you say that? *' 

" I am presuming that the cause of his fears came 
to him across the moor. If that were so, and it 
seems most probable, only a man who had lost his 
wits would have run from the house instead of tow- 
ards it. If the gipsy's evidence may be taken as 
true, he ran with cries for help in the direction where 
help was least likely to be. Then, again, whom was 
he waiting for that night, and why was he waiting 
for him in the Yew Alley rather than in his own 
house? " 

" You think that he was waiting for someone? " 

" The man was elderly and infirm. We can un- 
derstand his taking an evening stroll, but the ground 
was damp and the night inclement. Is it natural 
that he should stand for five or ten minutes, as Dr. 
Mortimer, with more practical sense than I should 
have given him credit for, deduced from the cigar 
ash? " 

" But he went out every evening." 

'* I think it unlikely that he waited at the moor- 
gate every evening. On the contrary, the evidence 
is that he avoided the moor. That night he waited 
tiiere. It was the night before he made his depart 



ure for London. The thing takes shape, Watson. 
It becomes coherent. Might I ask you to hand me 
my violin, and we will postpone all further thought 
upon this business until we have had the advantage 
of meeting Dr. Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskervill^ 
kk the morning." 



Sir Henry Basrsrville 

OUR breakfast-table was cleared early, and 
Holmes waited in his dressing-gown for 
the promised interview. Our clients were 
punctual to their appointment, for the clock had just 
struck ten when Dr. Mortimer was shown up, fol- 
lowed by the young ibaronet. The latter was a 
small, alert, dark-eyed man about thirty years of 
age, very sturdily built, with thick black eyebrows 
and a strong, pugnacious face. He wore a ruddy- 
tinted tweed suit, and had the weather-beaten ap- 
pearance of one who has spent most of his time in 
the open air, and yet there was something in his 
steady eye and the quiet assurance of his bearing 
which indicated the gentleman. 

" This is Sir Henry Baskeirville," said Dr. Mor- 

" Why, yes," said he, " and the strange thing is, 
Mr. Sherlock Holmes, that if my friend here had 
not proposed coming round to you this morning I 
should have come on my own account. I under- 
stand that you think out little puzzles, and Tve had 
one this morning which wants more thinking out 
than I am able to give to it." 

*^ Pray take a seat, Sir Henry. Do I understand 



you to say that you have yourself had some re- 
markable experience since you arrived in Lon- 

" Nothing of much importance, Mr. Holmes. 
Only a joke, as like as not. It was this letter, if 
you can call it a letter, which reached me this mom- 

He laid an envelope upon the table, and we all 
bent over it. It was of common quality, greyish in 
colour. The address, " Sir Henry Baskerville, 
Northumberland Hotel," was printed in rough char- 
acters; the post-mark " Charing Cross," and the 
date of posting the preceding evening. 

" Who knew that you were going to the Nor- 
thumberland Hotel?" asked Holmes, glancing 
keenly across at our visitor. 

" No one could have known. We only decided 
after I met Dr. Mortimer." 

" But Dr. Mortimer was no doubt already stop- 
ping there? " 

" No, I had been staying with a friend," said the 
doctor. " There was no possible indication that we 
intended to go to this hotel." 

" Hum ! Someone seems to be very deeply in- 
terested in your movements." Out of the envelope 
he took a half-sheet of foolscap paper folded into 
four. This he opened and spread fiat upon the 
table. Across the middle of it a single sentence had 
been formed by the expedient of pasting printed 
words upon it. It ran: "As you value your life 



or your reason keep away from the moor." The 
word " moor " only was printed in ink. 

" Now," said Sir Henry Baskerville, " perhaps 
you will tell me, Mr. Holmes, what in thunder is 
the meaning of that, and who it is that takes so 
much interest in my affairs? " 

" What do you make of it. Dr. Mortimer? You 
must allow that there is nothing supernatural about 
this, at any rate? " 

" No, sir, but it might very well come from some- 
one who was convinced that the business is super- 

" What business? " asked Sir Henry, sharply, 
"It seems to me that all you gentlemen know 
a great deal more than I do about my own af- 

" You shall share our knowledge before you leave 
this room. Sir Henry. I promise you that," said 
Sherlock Holmi^s. " We will confine ourselves for 
the present with your permission to this very inter- 
esting document, which must have been put to- 
gether and posted yesterday evening. Have you 
yesterday's Times, Watson?" 

" It is here in the comer." 

" Might I trouble you for it — ^the inside page, 
please, with the leading articles? " He glanced 
swiftly over it, running his eyes up and down the 
columns. " Capital article this on Free Trade. 
Permit me to give you an extract from it. ' You 
may be cajoled into imagining that your own 



Special trade or your own industry will be encour- 
aged by a protective tariff, but it stands to rea- 
son that such legislation must in the long run keep 
away wealth from the country, diminish the value 
of our imports, and lower the general conditions of 
life in this island/ What do you think of that, 
Watson? " cried Holmes, in high glee, rubbing his 
hands together with satisfaction. " Don't you 
think that is an admirable sentiment? " 

Dr. Mortimer looked at Holmes with an air of 
professional interest, and Sir Henry Baskerville 
turned a pair of puzzled dark eyes upon me. 

" I don't know much about the tariff and things 
of that kind," said he; " but it seems to me we've 
got a bit off the trail so far as that note is con- 

" On the contrary, I think we are particularly hot 
upon the trail. Sir Henry. Watson here knows 
more about my methods than you do, but I fear that 
even he has not quite grasped the significance of 
this sentence." 

" No, I confess that I see no connection." 

" And yet, my dear Watson, there is so very close 
a connection that the one is extracted out of the 
other. * You,' * your,' ' your,' * life,' ' reason,' 
* value,' * keep away,' ' from the.' Don't you see 
now whence these words have been taken? " 

" By thunder, you're right! Well, if that isn't 
smart! " cried Sir Henry. 

If any possible doubt remained it is settled by 




the fact that ' keep away ' and ' from the ' arc cut 
out in one piece." 

"Well, now— so it is!" 

" Really, Mr. Holmes, this exceeds anything^ 
which I could have imagined," said Dr. Mortimer, 
gazing at my friend in amazement. " I could un- 
derstand anyone saying that the words were from 
a newspaper; but that you should name which, and 
add that it came from the leading article, is really 
one of the most remarkable things which I have 
ever known. How did you do it? " 

" I presume, doctor, that you could tell the skuU 
of a negro from that of an Esquimaux? " 

" Most certainly." 

" But how? " 

" Because that is my special hobby. The differ- 
ences are obvious. The supra-orbital crest, the 
facial angle, the maxillary curve, the " 

" But this is my special hobby, and the differences 
are equally obvious. There is as much difference 
to my eyes between the leaded bourgeois type of a 
Times article and the slovenly print of an evening 
halfpenny paper as there could be between your 
negro and your Esquimaux. The detection of 
types is one of the most elementary branches of 
knowledge to the special expert in crime, though I 
confess that once when I was very young I confused 
the Leeds Mercury with the Western Morning News. 
But a Times leader is entirely distinctive, and these 
words could have been taken from nothing elsew 



As it was done yesterday the strong probability was 
that we should find the words in yesterday's issue.** 

" So far as I can follow you, then, Mr. Holmes/' 
said Sir Henry Baskerville, " someone cut out this 
message with a scissors " 

" Nail-scissors," said Holmes. " You can see 
that it was a very short-bladed scissors, since the 
cutter had to take two snips over * keep away.' " 

" That is so. Someone, then, cut out the mes- 
sage with a pair of short-bladed scissors, pasted it 
with paste " 

" Gum," said Holmes. 

" With gum on to the paper. But I want to 
know why the word ' moor ' should have been writ- 
ten? " 

" Because he could not find it in print. The 
other words were all simple and might be found in 
any issue, but * moor ' would be less common." 

" Why, of course, that would explain it. Have 
you read anything else in this message, Mr. 
Holmes? " 

" There? are one or two indications, and yet the 
utmost pains have been taken to remove all clues. 
The address, you observe, is printed in rough char- 
acters. But the Times is a paper which is seldom 
found in any hands but those of the highly educated. 
We may take it, therefore, that the letter was com- 
posed by an educated man who wished to pose as 
an uneducated one, and his effort to conceal his own 
writing suggests that that writing might be known^ 



or come to be known, by you. Again, you will ob- 
serve that the words are not gummed on in an ac- 
curate line, but that some are much higher than 
others. * Life,' for example, is quite out of its 
proper place. That may point to carelessness or 
it may point to agitation and hurry upon the part 
of the cutter. On the whole I incline to the latter 
view, since the matter was evidently important, and 
it is unlikely that the composer of such a letter 
would be careless. If he were in a hurry it opens 
up the interesting question why he should be in a 
hurry, since any letter posted up to early morning 
would reach Sir Henry before he would leave his 
hotel. Did the composer fear an interruption — 
and from whom? " 

" We are coming now rather into the region of 
guess work," said Dr. Mortimer. 

" Say, rather, into the region where we balance 
probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the 
scientific use of the imagination, but we have always 
some material basis on which to start our specula- 
tions. Now, you would call it a guess, no doubt, 
but I am almost certain that this address has been 
written in an hotel." 

How in the world can you say that? " 
If you examine it carefully you will see that 
both the pen and the ink have given the writer 
trouble. The pen has spluttered twice in a single 
word, and has run dry three times in a short ad- 
dress, showing that there was very little ink in the 



bottle. Now, a private pen or ink-bottle is seldom 
allowed to be in such a state, and the combination 
•of the two must be quite rare. But you know the 
kottl ink and the hotel pen, where it is rare to get 
anything else. Yes, I have very little hesitation in 
saying that could we examine the waste-paper bas- 
kets of the hotels round Charing Cross until we 
found the remains of the mutilated Times leader 
ive could lay our hands straight upon the person 
who sent this singular message. Halloa ! Halloa ! 
What's this? " 

He was carefully examining the foolscap, upon 
which the words were pasted, holding it only an 
inch or two from his eyes. 


" Nothing," said he, throwing it down. " It is a 
blank half-sheet of paper, without even a watermark 
upon it. I think we have drawn as much as we 
can from this curious letter; and now. Sir Henry, 
has anything else of interest happened to you since 
you have been in London? " 

Why, no, Mr. Holmes. I think not." 
You have not observed anyone follow or watch 
you? " 

" I seem to have walked right into the thick of a 
<lime novel," said our visitor. " Why in thunder 
should anyone follow or watch me? " 

"We are coming to that. You have nothing 
«lse to report to us before we go into this mat- 
ter? " 



"Well, it depends upon what you think worth 

" I think anything out of the ordinary routine ol 
life well worth reporting." 

Sir Henry smiled. 

** I don't know much of British life yet, for I have 
spent nearly all my time in the States and in Canada. 
But I hope that to lose one of your boots is not 
part of the ordinary routine of life over here." 

" You have lost one of your boots? " 

" My dear sir," cried Dr. Mortimer, " it is only 
mislaid. You will find it when you return to the 
hotel. What is the use of troubling Mr. Holmes 
with trifles of this kind? " 

" Well, he asked me for anything outside the or- 
dinary routine." 

" Exactly," said Holmes, " however foolish the 
incident may seem. You have lost one of your 
boots, you s;ay? " 

" Well, mislaid it, anyhow. I put them both out- 
side my door last night, and there was only one in» 
the morning. I could get no sense out of the chap 
who cleans them. The worst of it is that I only 
bought the pair last night in the Strand, and I have 
never had them on." 

" If you have never worn them, why did you put 
them out to be cleaned? " 

** They were tan boots, and had never been var- 
^hed. That was why I put them out." 

Then I understand that on your arrival in L(xi* 




don yesterday you went out at once and bought a 
pair of boots? " 

" I did a good deal of shopping. Dr. Mortimer 
here went round with me. You see, if I am to be 
squire down there I must dre^s the part, and it may 
be that I have got a little careless in my ways out 
West. Among other things I bought these brown 
boots — gave six dollars for them — and had one 
stolen before ever I had them on my feet." 

" It seems a singularly useless thing to steal," said 
Sherlock Holmes. " I confess that I share Dr. 
Mortimer's belief that it will not be long before the 
missing boot is found." 

"And, now, gentlemen," said the baronet, with 
decision, " it seems to me that I have spoken quite 
enough about the little that I know. It is time that 
you kept your promise and gave me a full account 
of what we are all driving at." 
. " Your request is a very reasonable one," Holmes 
answered. " Dr. Mortimer, I think you could not 
do better than to tell your story as you told it to 


Thus encouraged, our scientific friend drew his 
papers from his pocket, and presented the whole case 
as he had done upon the morning before. Sir 
Henry Baskerville listened with the deepest at- 
tention, and with an occasional exclamation of sur- 

" Well, I seem to have come into an inheritance 
with a vengeance," said he, when the long narrative 



was finished. " Of course, I've heard of the hound 
ever since I was in the nursery. It's the pet story 
of the family, though I never thought of taking it 
seriously before. But as to my uncle's death — 
well, it all seems boiling up in my head, and I can't 
get it clear yet. You don't seem quite to have 
made up your mind whether it's a case for a police- 
man or a clergyman." 

" Precisely." 

" And now there's this affair of the letter to me 
at the hotel. I suppose that fits into its place." 

" It seems to show that someone knows more 
than we do about what goes on upon the moor," 
said Dr. Mortimer. 

" And also," said Holmes, " that someone is not 
ill-disposed towards you, since they warn you of 

'* Or it may be that they wish, for their own pur- 
poses, to scare me away," 

"Well, of course, that is possible also. I am 
very much indebted to you. Dr. Mortimer, for in- 
troducing me to a problem which presents several 
interesting alternatives. But the practical point 
which we now have to decide. Sir Henry, is whether 
it is or is not advisable for you to go to Baskerville 

" Why should I not go? " 

" There seems to be danger." 

" Do you mean danger from this family fiend Dr 
do you mean danger from human beings? " 



" Well, that is what we have to find out." 

" Whichever it is, my answer is fixed. There is 
no devil in hell, Mr. Holmes, and there is no man 
upon earth who can prevent me from going to the 
home of my own people, and you may take that to 
be my final answer." His dark brows knitted and 
his face flushed to a dusky red as he spoke. It was 
evident that the fiery temper of the Baskervilles was 
not extinct in this their last representative. " Mean- 
while," said he, " I have hardly had time to think 
over all that you have told me. It's a big thing for 
a man to have to understand and to decide at one 
sitting. I should like to have a quiet hour by my- 
self to make up my mind. Now, look here, Mr. 
Holmes, it's half-past eleven now and I am going 
back right away to my hotel. Suppose you and 
your friend. Dr. Watson, come round and lunch 
with us at two? I'll be able to tell you more clearly 
then how this thing strikes me." 

" Is that convenient to you, Watson? ** 

" Perfectly." 

" Then you may expect us. Shall I have a cab 
called? " 

" I'd prefer to walk, for this affair has flurried me 

" I'll join you in a walk, with pleasure," said his 

" Then we meet again at two o'clock. Au revoir, 
and good morning I " 

We heard the steps of our visitors descend the 



Stair and the bang of the front door. In an instant 
Hohnes had changed from the languid dreamer to 
the man of action. 

" Your hat and boots, Watson, quick! Not a 
moment to lose! " He rushed into his room in his 
dressing-gown and was back again in a few seconds 
in a frock-coat. We hurried together down the 
stairs and into the street. Dr. Mortimer and Bas- 
kerville were still visible about two hundred yards 
ahead of us in the direction of Oxford Street. 

" Shall I run on and stop them? " 

*' Not for the world, my dear Watson. I am per- 
fectly satisfied with your company if you will tol- 
erate mine. Our friends are wise, for it is certainly 
a very fine morning for a walk." 

He quickened his pace until we had decreased 
the distance which divided us by about half. Then, 
still keeping a hundred yards behind, we followed 
into Oxford Street and so down Regent Street. 
Once our friends stopped and stared into a shop 
window, upon which Holmes did the same. An in- 
stant afterwards he gave a little cry of satisfaction, 
and, following the direction of his eager eyes, I saw 
that a hansom cab with a man inside which had 
halted on the other side of the street was now walk- 
ing slowly onwards again. 

"There's our man, Watson! Come along! 
We'll have a good look at him, if we can do no 

At that instant I was aware of a bushy black 



beard and a pair of piercing eyes turned upon us 
through the side window of the cab. Instantly the 
trap-door at the top flew up, something was 
screamed to the driver, and the cab flew madly off 
down Regent Street. Holmes looked eagerly 
round for another, but no empty one was in sight. 
Then he dashed in wild pursuit amid the stream of 
the traffic, but the start was too great, and already 
the cab was out of sight. 

" There now ! " said Holmes, bitterly, as he 
emerged panting and white with vexation from the 
tide of vehicles. "Was ever such bad luck and 
such bad management, too? Watson, Watson, if 
you are an honest man you will record this also and 
set it against my successes I " 

" Who was the man? " 

" I have not an idea." 

" A spy? " 

" Well, it was evident from what we have heard 
that Baskerville has been very closely shadowed by 
someone since he has been in town. How else 
could it be known so quickly that it was the Nor* 
thumberland Hotel which he had chosen? If they 
had followed him the first day I argued that they 
would follow him also the second. You may have 
observed that I twice strolled over to the window 
while Dr. Mortimer was reading his legend." 

" Yes, I remember." 

" I was looking out for loiterers in the street, but 
I saw none. We are dealing with a clever man, 



Watson. This matter cuts very deep, and though 
I have not finally made up my mind whether it is 
a benevolent or a malevolent agency which is in 
touch with us, I am conscious always of power and 
design. When our friends left I at once followed 
them in the hopes of marking down their invisible 
attendant. So wily was he that he had not trusted 
himself upon foot, but he had availed himself of a 
cab, so that he could loiter behind or dash past them 
and so escape their notice. His method had the 
additional advantage that if they were to take a cab 
he was all ready to follow them. It has, however, 
one obvious disadvantage." 

" It puts him in the power of the cabman.** 
^ " Exactly." 

What a pity we did not get the number! ** 
My dear Watson, clumsy as I have been, you 
surely do not seriously imagine that I neglected to 
get the number? 2704 is our man. But that is no 
use to us for the moment." 

" I fail to see how you could have done more.** 
" On observing the cab I should have instantly 
turned and walked in the other direction. I should 
then at my leisure have hired a second cab and fol- 
lowed the first at a respectful distance, or, better 
still, have driven to the Northumberland Hotel and 
waited there. When our unknown had followed 
Baskerville home we should have had the oppor- 
tunity of playing his own game upon himself, and 
seeing where he made for. As it is, by an indiscreet 




eagerness, which was taken advantage of with ex- 
traordinary quickness and energy by our opponent, 
we have betrayed ourselves and lost our man." 

We had been sauntering slowly down Regent 
Street during this conversation, and Dr. Mortimer, 
with his companion, had long vanished in front of 

" There is no object in our following them," said 
Holmes. " The shadow has departed and will not 
return. We must see what further cards we have 
in our hands, and play them with decision. Could 
you swear to that man's face within the cab? " 

" I could swear only to the beard." 

" And so could I — from which I gather that in all 
probability it was a false one. A clever man upon 
so delicate an errand has no use for a beard save to 
conceal his features. Come in here, Watson ! " 

He turned into one of the district messenger of- 
fices, where he was warmly greeted by the manager. 

" Ah, Wilson, I see you have not forgotten the 
little case in which I had the good fortune to help 
you? " 

" No, sir, indeed I have not. You saved my 
good name, and perhaps my life." 

" My dear fellow, you exaggerate. I have some 
recollection, Wilson, that you had among your boys 
a lad named Cartwright, who showed some ability 
during the investigation." 

" Yes, sir, he is still with us.*' 

" Could you ring him up? — thank you! And I 



-should be glad to have change of this five-pound 

A lad of fourteen, with a bright, keen face, had 
obeyed the summons of the manager. He stood 
now gazing with great reverence at the famous de- 

" Let me have the Hotel Directory," said 
Holmes. "Thank you! Now, Cartwright, there 
are the names of twenty-three hotels here, all in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Charing Cross. Do 
you see? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" You will visit each of these in turn.** 
Yes, sir." 

You will begin in each case by giving the out- 
side porter one shilling. Here are twenty-three 
Yes, sir." 

You will tell him that you want to see the waste 
paper of yesterday. You will say that an important 
telegram has miscarried and that you are looking 
for it. You understand? " 
Yes, sir." 

But what you are really looking for is the cen- 
tre page of the Times with some holes cut in it with 
scissors. Here is a copy of the Times. It is this 
page. You could easily recognise it, could you 
not? " 

" Yes, sir." 

** In each case the outside porter will send for 



the hall porter, to whom also you will give a shil-» 
ling. Here are twenty-three shillings. You will 
then learn in possibly twenty cases out of the 
twenty-three that the waste of the day before has 
been burned or removed. In the three other cases 
you will be shown a heap of paper and you will look 
for this page of the Times among it. The odds are 
enormously against your finding it. " There are ten 
shillings over iv case of emergencies. Let me have 
a report by wire at Baker Street before evening. 
And now, Watson, it only remains for us to find out 
by wire the identity of the cabman, No. 2704, and 
then we will drop into one of the Bond Street pict- 
ure galleries and fill in the time until we are due at 
the hotel." 


Thre£ Broken Threads 

•^^HERLOCK HOLMES had, in a very re- 
markable degree, the power of detaching his 
mind at will. For two hours the strange busi- 
ness in which we had been involved appeared to be 
forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pict- 
ures of the modem Belgian masters. He would 
talk of nothing but art, of which he had the crudest 
ideas, from our leaving the gallery until we fotmd 
ourselves at the Northumberland Hotel. 

" Sir Henry Baskerville is upstairs expecting 
you," said the clerk. " He asked me to show you 
up at once when you came." 

" Have you any objection to my looking at your 
register? " said Holmes. 

" Not in the least." 
y The book showed that two names had been added 
after that of Baskerville. One was Theophilus 
Johnson and family, of Newcastle; the other Mrs, 
Oldmore and maid, of High Lodge, Alton. 

" Surely that must be the same Johnson whom I 
used to know," said Holmes to the porter. " A 
lawyer, is he not, grey-headed, and walks with a 



" No, sir, this is Mr. Johnson, the coal-owner, a 
very active gentleman, not older than yourself/' 

" Surely you are mistaken about his trade? " 

" No, sir; he has used this hotel for many years, 
and he is very well known to us/' 

" Ah, that settles it. Mrs. Oldmore, too; I seem 
to remember the name. Excuse my curiosity, but 
often in calling upon one friend one finds another." 

" She is an invalid lady, sir. Her husband wa* 
once Mayor of Gloucester. She always comes to 
us when she is in town." 

" Thank you ; I am afraid I cannot claim her ac- 
quaintance. We have established a most important 
fact by these questions, Watson," he continued, in a 
low voice, as we went upstairs together. "We 
know now that the people who are so interested in 
our friend have not settled down in his own hotel. 
That means that while they are, as we have seen, 
very anxious to watch him they are equally anxious 
that he should not see them. Now, this is a most 
suggestive fact." 

" What does it suggest? " 

" It suggests — halloa, my dear fellow, what on 
earth is the matter? " 

As we came round the top of the stairs we had 
run up against Sir Henry Baskerville himself. His 
face was flushed with anger, and he held an old and 
dusty boot in one of his hands. So furious was he 
that he was hardly articulate, and when he did speak 
it was in a much broader and more Western dialect 



than any which we had heard from him in the mom* 

" Seems to me they are playing me for a sucker 
In this hotel," he cried. "They'll find they've 
started in to monkey with the wrong man unless 
they are careful. By thunder, if that chap can't find 
my missmo^ boot there will be trouble. I can take 
a joke with the best, Mr. Holmes, but they've got a 
bit over the mark this time.** 

" Still looking for your boot? " 
Yes, sir, and mean to find it." 
But, surely, you said that it was a new brown 

^*So it was, sir. And now it's an old black 

" What ! you don't mean to say ? " 

" That's just what I do mean to say. I only had 
three pairs in the world — the new brown, the old 
black, and the patent leathers, which I am wearing. 
Last night they took one of my brown ones, and 
to-day they have sneaked one of the black. Well, 
have you got it? Speak out, man, and don't stand 
staring! " 

An agitated German waiter had appeared upon 
the scene. 

" No, sir; I have made inquiry all over the hotel, 
but I can hear no word of it." 

" Well, either that boot comes back before sun- 
down or I'll see the manager and tell him that I go 
right straight out of this hotel." 




" It shall be found, sir — I promise you that if you 
will have a little patience it will be found/' 

" Mind it is, for it's the last thing of mine that 
I'll lose in this den of thieves. Well, well, Mr. 
Holmes, you'll excuse my troubling you about such 
a trifle " 

" I think it's well worth troubling about/' 

'* Why, you look very serious over it." 
How do you explain it? " 
I just don't attempt to explain it. It seems the 
very maddest, queerest thing that ever happened to 

"The queerest perhaps ^" said Holmes, 


" What do you make of it yourself? " 

" Well, I don't profess to understand it yet. This 
case of yours is very complex, Sir Henry. When 
taken in conjunction with your uncle's death I am 
not sure that of all the five hundred cases of capital 
importance which I have handled there is one which 
cuts so deep. But we hold several threads in ouf 
\iands, and the odds are that one or other of them 
guides us to the truth. We may waste time in fol- 
lowing the wrong one, but sooner or later we must 
come upon the right." 

We had a pleasant luncheon in which little was 
said of the business which had brought us together. 
It was in the private sitting-room to which we after- 
wards repaired that Holmes asked Baskerville what 
were his intentions. 



"To go to Baskerville HaU.'* 

''And when?'' 

'' At the end of the week." 

** On the whole/' said Holmes, " I think that your 
decision is a wise one. I have ample evidence that 
you are being dogged in London, and amid the mill- 
ions of this great city it is difl&cult to discover who 
these people are or what their object can be. If 
their intentions are evil they might do you a mis- 
chief, and we should be powerless to prevent it. 
You did not know. Dr. Mortimer, that you were 
followed this morning from my house?" 

Dr. Mortimer started violently. 

' ' Followed I By whom ? ' ' 

** That, unfortunately, is what I cannot tell you. 
Have you among your neighbours or acquaintances 
on Dartmoor any man with a black, full beard? " 

"No — or, let me see — why, yes. Barrymore, Sir 
Charles's butler, is a man with a full, black beard." 

" Ha ! Where is Barrymore ? ' ' 

*' He is it- charge of the Hall. " 

"We had best ascertain if he is really there, or if 
by any possibility he might be in London." 

" How can you do that ? " 

** Give me a telegraph form. ' Is all ready for Sir 
Henry ? ' That will do. Address to Mr. Barry- 
more, Baskerville Hall. What is the nearest tele- 
graph-office? Grimpen. Very good, we will send 
a second wire to the post-master, Grimpen : * Tele- 
gram to Mr. Barrymore, to be delivered into his 



own hand. If absent, please return wire to Sir 
Henry Baskerville, Northumberland Hotel/ That 
should let us know before evening whether Barry- 
more is at his post in Devonshire or not." 

" That's so/' said Baskerville^ " By the way, Dn 
Mortimer, who is this Barrymore, anyhow? " 

" He is the son of the old caretaker, who is dead. 
They have looked after the Hall for four generations 
now. So far as I know, he and his wife are as re- 
spectable a couple as any in the county." 

" At the same time," said Baskerville, " it's clear 
enough that so long as there are none of the family 
at the Hall these people have a mighty fine home 
and nothing to do." 

" That is true." 

" Did Barrymore profit at all by Sir Charles's 
will? " asked Holmes. 

** He and his wife had five hundred pounds 

" Hal Did they know that they would receive 
this? " 

" Yes; Sir Charles was very fond of talking about 
the provisions of his will." 

" That is very interesting." 

" I hope," said Dr. Mortimer, " that you do not 
look with suspicious eyes upon everyone who re* 
ceived a legacy from Sir Charles, for I also had a 
thousand pounds left to me." 

" Indeed 1 And anyone else? '* 

** There were many insignificant sums to Individ* 



uals, and a large number of public charities. The 
residue all went to Sir Henry." 

•* And how much was the residue? " 

" Seven hundred and forty thousand pounds," 

Holmes raised his eyebrows in surprise. " I had 
no idea that so gigantic a sum was involved," said 

" Sir Charles had the reputation of being rich, but 
we did not know how very rich he was until we 
came to examine his securities. The total value oi 
the estate was close on to a million." 

" Dear me! It is a stake for which a man might 
well play a desperate game. And one more ques- 
tion, Dr. Mortimer. Supposing that anything; 
happened to our young friend here — ^you will for- 
give the unpleasant hypothesis ! — ^who would inherit 
the estate? " 

" Since Rodger Baskerville, Sir Charles's younger 
brother, died unmarried, the estate would descend 
to the Desmonds^ who are distant cousins. James 
Desmond is an elderly clergyman in Westmorland." 

" Thank you. These details are all of great in- 
terest. Have you met Mr. James Desmond?" 

"Yes; he once came down to visit Sir Charles. 
He is a man of venerable appearance and of saintly 
life. I remember that he refused to accept any set- 
tlement from Sir Charles, though he pressed it upon 

" And this man of simple tastes would be the heir 
to Sir Charles's thousands." 



" He would be the heir to the estate, because 
that is entailed. He would also be the heir to the 
money unless it were willed otherwise by the pres- 
ent owner, who can, of course, do what he likes 
with it." 

" And have you made your will, Sir Henry? ** 

" No, Mr. Holmes, I have not. I've had no 
time, for it was only yesterday that I learned how 
matters stood. But in any case I feel that the 
money should go with the title and estate. That 
was my poor uncle's idea. How is the owner going 
to restore the glories of the Baskervilles if he has 
not money enough to keep up the property? 
House, land, and dollars must go together." 

" Quite so. Well, Sir Henry, I am of one mind 
with you as to the advisability of your going down 
to Devonshire without delay. There is only one 
provision which I must makie. You certainly must 
not go alone." 

" Dr. Mortimer returns with me." 

" But Dr. Mortimer has his practice to attend to, 
and his house is miles away from yours. With all 
the good will in the world, he may be unable to 
help you. No, Sir Henry, you must take with you 
someone, a trusty man, who will be always by your 

" Is it possible that you could come yourself, Mn 
Holmes? " 

" If matters came to a crisis I should endeavour 
to be present in person; but you can understand 



that, with my extensive consulting practice and 
with the constant appeals which reach me from 
many quarters, it is impossible for me to be absent 
from London for an indefinite time. At the pres- 
ent instant one of the most revered names in Eng- 
land is being besmirched by a blackmailer, and only 
I can stop a disastrous scandal. You will see how 
.impossible it is for me to go to Dartmoor." 

" Whom would ygu recommend, then? " 

Holmes laid his hand upon my arm. 

" If my friend would undertake it there is no man 
who is better worth having at your side when you 
are in a tight place. No one can say so more con- 
fidently than I." 

The proposition took me completely by surprise, 
but before I had time to answer, Baskerville seized 
me by the hand and wrung it heartily. 

" Well, now, that is real kind of you, Dr. Wat- 
son," said he. " You see how it is with me, and 
you know just as much about the matter as I do. 
If you will come down to Baskerville Hall and sec 
me through I'll never forget it." 

The promise of adventure had always a fascina- 
tion for me, and I was complimented by the words 
of Holmes and by the eagerness with which the 
baronet hailed me as a companion. 

" I will come, with pleasure," said I. " I do not 
know how I could employ my time better." 

" And you will report very carefully to me," said 
Holmes. "When a crisis comes, as it will do, I 




will direct how you shall act. I suppose that by 
Saturday all might be ready? '* 

" Would that suit Dr. Watson? '' 


" Then on Saturday, unless you hear to the con- 
trary, we shall meet at the 10.30 train from Pad- 

We had risen to depart when Baskerville gave 
a cry oi triumph, and diving into one of the comers 
of the room he drew a brown boot from under a 

My missing boot! ** he cried. 
May all our difficulties vanish as easily 1 ** said 
Sherlock Holmes. 

" But it is a very singular thing,'* Dr. Mortimer 
remarked. " I searched this room carefully before 

" And so did I," said Baskerville. " Every inch 
of it." 

" There was certainly no boot in it then." 

" In that case the waiter must have placed it there 
while we were lunching." 

The German was sent for, but professed to know 
nothing of the matter, nor could any inquiry clear 
it up. Another item had been added to that con- 
stant and apparently purposeless series of small mys- 
teries which had succeeded each other so rapidly. 
Setting aside the whole grim story of Sir Charles's 
death, we had a line of inexplicable incidents all 
within the limits of two days, which included th« 



receipt of the printed letter, the black-bearded spy 
in the hansom, the loss of the new brown boot, the 
loss of the old black boot, and now the return of 
the new brown boot. Holmes sat in silence in the 
cab as we drove back to Baker Street, and I knew 
from his drawn brows and keen face that his mind, 
like my own, was busy in endeavouring to frame 
some scheme into which all these strange and ap- 
parently disconnected episodes could be fitted. All 
afternoon and late into the evening he sat lost in 
tobacco and thought. 

7ust before dinner two telegrams were handed in. 
The first ran : — 

** Have just heard that Barrymore is at the Hall. 
— Baskerville." The second: — 

"Visited twenty-three hotels as directed, but 
sorry to report unable to trace cut sheet of Times. 
— Cartwright.'* 

" There go two of my threads, Watson. There 
is nothing more stimulating than a case where every- 
thing goes against you. We must cast round for 
another scent." 

" We have still the cabman who drove the spy/* 

" Exactly. I have wired to get his name and 
address from the Official Registry. I should not 
be surprised if this were an answer to my question.*' 

The ring at the bell proved to be something even 
more satisfactory than an answer, however, for the 
door opened and a rough-looking fellow entered 
who was evidently the man himseli 



" I got a message from the head office that a gent 
at this address had been inquiring for 2,704/' said 
he. " I've driven my cab ihis seven years and never 
a word of complaint. I came here straight from the 
Yard to ask you to your face what you had against 

" I have nothing in the world against you, my 
good man," said Holmes. " On the contrary, I 
have half a sovereign for you if you will give me 
a clear answer to my questions." 

" Well, I've had a good day and no mistake," said 
the cabman, with a grin. " What was it you want- 
ed to ask, sir? " ' 

" First of all your name and address, in case I 
want you again." 

"John Clayton, 3, Turpey Street, the Borough. 
My cab is out of Shipley's Yard, near Waterloo 

Sherlock Holmes made a note of it. 

" Now, Clayton, tell me all about the fare who 
came and watched this house at ten o'clock this 
morning and afterwards followed the two gentle- 
men down Regent Street." 

The man looked surprised and a little embar- 
rassed. "Why, there's no good my telling you 
things, for you seem to know as much as I do al- 
ready," said he. " The truth is that the gentleman 
told me that he was a detective and that I was to 
say nothing about him to anyone." 

" My good fellow, this is a very serious business^ 



and you may find yourself m A pretty bad position 
if you try to hide anything from me. You say that 
jrour fare told you that he was a detective? " 

*' Yes, he did." 

•When did he say this? •' 

" When he left me." 

" Did he say anything more? ** 

" He mentioned his name." 

Holmes cast a swift glance of triumph at me. 
*• Oh, he mentioned his name, did he? That was 
imprudent. What was the name that he men- 
tioned? " 

" His name," said the cabman, ** was Mr. Sher- 
lock Holmes." 

Never have I seen my friend more completely 
taken aback than by the cabman's reply. For an 
instant he sat in silent amazement. Then he burst 
into a hearty laugh. 

"A touch, Watson — ^an undeniable touch!" said 
he. " I feel a foil as quick and supple as my own. 
He got home upon me very prettily that time. So 
his name was Sherlock Holmes, was it? " 

" Yes, sir, that was the gentleman's name." 

" Excellent ! Tell me where you picked him up 
tind all that occurred." 

" He hailed me at half-past nine in Trafalgar 
Square. He said that he was a detective, and he 
offered me two guineas if I would do exactly what 
he wanted all day and ask no questions. I was glad 
enough to agree. First we drove down to the Nor*^ 




thumberland Hotel and waited there until two 
gentlemen came out and took a cab from the rank. 
We followed their cab until it pulled up somewhere 
near here." 

" This very door," said Holmes. 

" Well, I couldn't be sure of that, but I daresay 
my fare knew all about it. We pulled up half-way 
down the street and waited an hour and a half. 
Then the two gentlemen passed us, walking, and we 
followed down Baker Street and along " 

" I know," said Holmes. 

" Until we got three-quarters down Regent 
Street. Then my gentleman threw up the trap, and 
he cried that I should drive right away to Waterloo 
Station as hard as I could go. I whipped up the 
mare and we were there under the ten minutes. 
Then he paid up his two guineas, like a good one, 
and away he went into the station. Only just as he 
was leaving he turned round and he said: * It might 
interest you to know that you have been driving 
Mr. Sherlock Holmes.' That's how I come ta 
know the name." 

" I see. And you saw no more of him? " 

" Not after he went into the station." 

"And how would you describe Mr. Sherlock 
Holmes? " 

The cabman scratched his head. "Well, he 
wasn't altogether such an easy gentleman to de- 
scribe. I'd put him at forty years of age, and he 
was of a middle height, two or three inches shorter 



than you, sir. He was dressed like a toff, and he 
had a black beard, cut square at the end, and a pale 
face. I don't know as I could say more than 

" Colour of his eyes? '* 

" No, I can't say that." 

" Nothing more that you can remember? " 

" No, sir; nothing." 

" Well, then, here is your half-sovereign. There's 
another one waiting for you if you can bring any 
more information. Good night ! " 

" Good night, sir, and thank you ! " 

John Clayton departed chuckling, and Holmes 
turned to me with a shrug of the shoulders and a 
rueful smile. 

" Snap goes our third thread, and we end where 
we began," said he. "The cunning rascal! He 
knew our number, knew that Sir Henry Baskerville 
had consulted me, spotted who I was in Regent 
Street, conjectured that I had got the number of 
the cab and would lay my hands on the driver, and 
so sent back this audacious message. I tell you, 
Watson, this time we have got a foeman who is 
worthy of our steel. I've been checkmated in 
London. I can only wish you better luck in 
Devonshire. But I'm not easy in my mind about 

" About what? " 

"About sending you. It's an ugly business, 
Watson, an ugly, dangerous business, and the more 



I see of it the less I like it. Yes, my dear fellow, 
you may laugh, but I give you my word that I shall 
be very glad to have you back safe and sound in 
Baker Street once more." 


Baskervtllb Hall 

timer were ready upon the appointed day, 
and we started as arranged for Devonshire. 
Mr. Sherlock Holmes drove with me to the station 
and gave me his last parting injunctions and advice. 

" I will not bias your mind by suggesting theories 
or suspicions, Watson," said he; " I wish you simply 
to report facts in the fullest possible manner to me, 
aad you can leave me to do the theorizing." 

" What sort of facts? " I asked. 

"Anything which may seem to have a bearing 
however indirect upon the case, and especially the 
relations between young Baskerville and his neigh- 
bours or any fresh particulars concerning the death 
of Sir Charles. I have made some inquiries myself 
in the last few days, but the results have, I fear, been 
negative. One thing only appears to be certain, 
and that is that Mr. James Desmond, who is the 
next heir, is an elderly gentleman of a very amiable 
disposition, so that this persecution does not arise 
from him. I really think that we may eliminate 
him entirely from our calculations. There remain 
the people who will actually surround Sir Henry 
Baskerville upon the moor." 


" Would it not be well in the first place to get 
rid of this Barry more couple? '* 

" By no means. You could not make a greater 
mistake. If they are innocent it wotlld be a cruel 
injustice, and if they are guilty we should be giving 
up all chance of bringing it home to them. No, no, 
we will preserve them upon our list of suspects. 
Then there is a groom at the Hall, if I remember 
right. There are two moorland farmers. There is 
our friend Dr. Mortimer, whom I believe to be en- 
tirely honest, and there is his wife, of whom we 
know nothing. There is this naturalist Stapleton, 
and there is his sister, who is said to l^e a young 
lady of attractions. There is Mr. Frahkland, of 
Lafter Hall, who is also an unknown factor, and 
there are one or two other neighbours. These are 
the folk who must be your very special study." 

" I will do my best." 

" You have arms, I suppose? " 

'* Yes, I thought it as well to take them." 

" Most certainly. Keep your revolver near you 
night and day, and never relax your precautions." 

Our friends had already secured a first-class car- 
riage, and were waiting for us upon the platform. 

" No, we have no news of any kind," said Dr. 
Mortimer, in answer to my friend's questions. " J 
can swear to one thing, and that is that we have 
not been shadowed during the last two days. We 
have never gone out without keeping a sharp watch^ 
and no one could have escaped our notice.'' 




You have always kept together, I presume? ** 
Except yesterday afternoon. I usually give up 
one day to pure amusement when I come to town, 
so I spent it at the Museum of the College of Sur* 

" And I went to look at the folk in the park," 
said Baskerville. " But we had no trouble of any 

" It was imprudent, all the same," said Holmes, 
shaking his head and looking very grave. " I beg. 
Sir Henry, that you will not go about alone. Some 
great misfortune will befall you if you do. Did you 
get your other boot? " 

*' No, sir, ft is gone for ever.'* 

" Indeed. That is very interesting. Well, good-^ 
bye," he added, as the train began to glide dowi 
the platform. " Bear in mind, Sir Henry, one (k 
the phrases in that queer old legend which Dr. Mor^ 
timer has read to us, and avoid the moor in those 
hours of darkness when the powers of evil are ex- 

I looked back at the platform when we had left 
it far behind, and saw the tall, austere figure of 
Holmes standing motionless and gazing after us. 

The journey was a swift and pleasant one, and 
I spent it in making the more intimate acquaintance 
of my two companions and in playing with Dr. Mor- 
timer's spaniel. In a very few hours the brown 
earth had become ruddy, the brick had changed to 
granite, and red cows grazed in well-hedged fields 



where the lush grasses and more luxuriant vegeta- 
tion spoke of a richer, if a damper, climate. Young 
Baskerville stared eagerly out of the window, and 
cried aloud with delight as he recognised the famil- 
iar features of the Devon scenery. 

**I've been over a good part of the world since 
I left it, Dr. Watson," said he; "but I have never 
seen a place to compare with it.'* 

**I never saw a Devonshire man who did not 
swear by his county," I remarked. 

** It depends upon the breed of men quite as much 
as on the county," said Dr. Mortimer. ** A glance 
at our friend here reveals the rounded head of the 
Celt, which carries inside it the Celtic enthusiasm 
and power of attachment. Poor Sir Charles's head 
was of a very rare type, half Gaelic, half lyernian 
in its characteristics. But you were very young 
when yt)U last saw Baskerville Hall, were you not ?" 

*'I was a boy in my 'teens at the time of my 
father's death, and had never seen the Hal}, for he 
lived in a little cottage on the South Coast. Thence 
I went straight to a friend in America. I tell you 
it is all as new to me as it is to Dr. Watson, and I'm 
as keen as possible to see the moor." 

*' Are you? Then your wish is easily granted, for 
there is your first sight of the moor," said Dr. Mor- 
timer, pointing out of the carriage window. 

Over the green squares of the fields and the low 
curve of a wood there rose in the distance a grey, 
melancboly hill^ with a strange jagged summit, dim. 



and vague in the distance, like some fantastic land* 
scape in a dream. Baskerville sat for a long time, 
his eyes fixed upon it, and I read upon his eager 
face how much it meant to him, this first sight of 
that strange spot where the men of his blood had 
held sway so long and left their mark so deep. 
There he sat, with his tweed suit and his American 
accent, in the corner of a prosaic railway-carriage, 
and yet as I looked at his dark and expressive face 
I felt more than ever how true a descendant he was 
of that long line of high-blooded, fiery, and master- 
ful men. There were pride, valour, and strength in 
his thick brows, his sensitive nostrils, and his large 
hazel eyes. If on that forbidding moor a difficult 
and dangerous quest should lie before us, this was 
at least a comrade for whom one might venture to 
ta'ce a risk with the certainty that he would bravely 
share it. 

The train pulled up at a small wayside station and 
we all descended. Outside, beyond the low, white 
fence, a wagonette with a pair of cobs was waiting. 
Our coming was evidently a great event, for station- 
master and porters clustered round us to carry out 
our luggage. It was a sweet, simple country spot, 
but I was surprised to observe that by the gate there 
stood two soldierly men in dark uniforms, who 
leaned upon their short rifles and glanced keenly at 
us as we passed. The coachman, a hard-faced, 
gnarled little fellow, saluted Sir Henry Baskerville, 
and in a few minutes we were flying swiftly down 



the broad, white road. Rolling pasture lands 
curved upwards on either side of us, and old gabled 
houses peeped out from amid the thick green foli- 
age, but behind the peaceful and sunlit country-side 
there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the 
long, gloomy curve of the moor, broken by the 
jagged and sinister hills. 

The wagonette swung round into a side road, 
and we curved upwards through deep lanes worn by 
centuries of wheels, high banks on either side, heavy 
with dripping moss and fleshy hart's-tongue ferns. 
Bronzing bracken and mottled bramble gleamed in 
the light of the sinking sun. Still steadily rising, 
we passed over a narrow granite bridge, and skirted 
a noisy stream which gushed swiftly down, foaming 
and roaring amid the grey boulders. Both road 
and stream wound up through a valley dense with 
scrub oak and fir. At every turning Baskerville 
gave an exclamation of delight, looking eagerly 
about him and asking countless questions. To his 
eyes all seemed beautiful, but to me a tinge of mel- 
ancholy lay upon the country-side, which bore so 
clearly the mark of the waning year. Yellow leaves 
carpeted the lanes and fluttered down upon us as 
we passed. The rattle of our wheels died away as 
we drove through drifts of rotting vegetation — sad 
gifts, as it seemed to me, for Nature to throw be- 
fore the carriage of the returning heir of the Basker- 

" HaUoa! " cried Dr. Mortimer, " what is this? - 



A steep curve of heath-clad land, an outlying spur 
of the moor, lay in front of us. On the summit, 
hard and clear like an equestrian statue upon its 
pedestal, was a mounted soldier, dark and stem, his 
rifle poised ready over his forearm. He was watch- 
ing the road along which we travelled. 

" What is this, Perkins? " asked Dr. Mortimer. 

Our driver half turned in his seat. 

" There's a convict escaped from Princetown, sir. 
He's been out three days now, and the warders 
watch every road and every station, but they've had 
no sight of him yet. The farmers about here don't 
like it, sir, and that's a fact." 

" Well, I understand that they get live pounds If 
they can give information." 

" Yes, sir, but the chance of live pounds is but a 
poor thing compared to the chance of having your 
throat cut. You see, it isn't like any ordinary con- 
vict. This is a man that would stick at nothing." . 

"Who is he, then?" 

" It is Selden, the Notting Hill murderer." 

I remembered the case well, for it was one in 
which Holmes had taken an interest on account of 
the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the wanton 
brutality which had marked all the actions of the 
assassin. The commutation of his death sentence 
had been due to some doubts as to his complete 
sanity, so atrocious was his conduct. Our wagon- 
ette had topped a rise and in front of us rose the 
buge expanse of the moor, mottled with gnarled and 



craggy cairns and tors. A cold wind swept down 
from it and set us shivering. Somewhere there, on 
that desolate plain, was lurking thi^ fiendish man, 
hiding in a burrow like a wild beast, his heart full of 
malignancy against the whole race which had cast 
him out. It needed but this to complete the grim 
suggestiveness of the barren waste, the chilling 
wind, and the darkling sky. Even Baskerville fell 
silent and pulled his overcoat more closely around 

We had left the fertile country behind and ht-^ 
neath us. We looked back on it now, the slanting 
rays of a low sun turning the streams to threads o< 
gold and glowing on the red earth new turned by 
the plough and the broad tangle of the woodlands. 
The road in front of us grew bleaker and wilder 
over huge russet and olive slopes, sprinkled with 
giant boulders. Now and then we passed a moor- 
land cottage, walled and roofed with stone, with no 
creeper to break its harsh outline. Suddenly we 
looked down into a cup-like depression, patched 
with stunted oaks and firs which had been twisted 
and bent by the fury of years of storm. Two high, 
narrow towers rose over the trees. The driver 
pointed with his whip. 

" Baskerville Hall," said he. 

Its master had risen and was staring with flushed 
cheeks and shining eyes. A few minutes later we 
had reached the lodge-gates, a maze of fantastic 
tracery in wrought uron, with weather-bitten pillars 


The driver pointed with his wliip '^ iJaskerville 
Hail," said he. 


on either side, blotched with lichens, and surmount- 
ed by the boars' heads of the Baskervilles. The 
lodge was a ruin of black granite and bared ribs of 
rafters, but facing it was a new building, half con- 
structed, the first fruit of Sir Charles's South Afri- 
can gold. 

Through the gateway we passed into the avenue, 
where the wheels were again hushed amid the leaves, 
and the old trees shot their branches in a sombre 
tunnel over our heads. Baskerville shuddered as 
he looked up the long, dark drive to where the 
house glimmered like a ghost at the farther end. 

** Was it here? " he asked, in a low voice. 

** No, no, the Yew Alley is on the other side." 

The young heir glanced round with a gloomy 

"It's no wonder my uncle felt as if trouble were 
coming on him in such a place as this," said he. 
"It's enough to scare any man. I'll have a row of 
electric lamps up here inside of six months, and you 
won't know it again, with a thousand candle>power 
Swan and Edison right here in front of the hall 

The avenue opened into a broad expanse of turf, 
and the house lay before us. In the fading light 
I could see that the centre was a heavy block of 
building from which a porch projected. The whole 
front was draped in ivy, with a patch clipped bare 
here and there where a window or a coat-of-arms 
broke through the dark veil. From this central 



block rose the twin towers, ancient, crenelatea, ani 
pierced with many loopholes. To right and left oi 
the turrets were more modem wings of black gran- 
ite. A dull light shone through heavy mullioned 
windows, and from the high chimneys which rose 
from the steep, high-angled roof there sprang a sin- 
gle black column of smoke. 

"Welcome, Sir Henry I Welcome, to Ba^er- 

A tall man had stepped from the shadow of the 
porch to open the door of the wagonette. The 
figure of a woman was silhouetted against the yel- 
low light of the hall. She came out and helped the 
man to hand down our bags. 

" You don't mind my driving straight home, Sir 
Henry? ** said Dr. Mortimer. " My wife is expect- 
ing me.'' 

" Surely you will stay and have some dinner? ** ^ 

" No, I must go. I shall probably find some 
work awaiting me. I would stay to show you over 
tfie house, but Barrymore will be a better guide than 
I. Good-bye, and never hesitate night or day to 
send for me if I can be of service.*' 

The wheels died away down the drive while Sii 
Henry and I turned into the hall, and the dooi 
clanged heavily behind us. It was a fine apartment 
in which we found ourselves, large, lofty, and heav- 
ily raftered with huge balks of age-blackened oak. 
In the great old-fashioned fireplace behind the high 
iron dogs a log-fire crackled and snapped. Sif 



Henry and I held out our hands to it, for we were 
numb from our long drive. Then we gazed round 
us at the high, thin window of old stained glass, the 
oak panelling, the stags' heads, the coats-of-arms 
upon the walls, all dim and sombre in the subdued 
light of the central lamp. 

•' It's just as I imagined it," said Sir Henry. "Li 
it not the very picture of an old family home ? Tc 
th^nk that this should be the same hall in which for 
five hundred years my people have lived. It strikes 
me solemn to think of it." 

I saw his dark face lit up with boyish enthusiasm 
as he gazed about him. The light beat upon him 
Vfrhere he stood, but long shadows trailed down the 
walls and hung like a black canopy above him. 
Barrymore had returned from taking our luggage 
to our rooms. He stood in front of us now with 
the subdued manner of a well-trained servant. He 
was a remarkable-looking man, tall, handsome, with 
a square black beard, and pale, distinguished feat- 

'^ Would you wish dinner to be served at once^ 

"Is it ready?" 

" In a very few minutes, sir. You will find hot 
water in your rooms. My wife and I will be happy, 
Sir Henry, to stay with you until you have made 
Jrour fresh arrangements, but you will understand 
that under the new conditions this house will re- 
quire a considerable staff." 



^ What new conditions? ^ 

*' I only meant, sir, that Sir Charles led a very 
Retired life, and we were able to look after his wants. 
You would, naturally, wish to have more company, 
and so you will need changes in your household." 

** Do you mean that your wife and you wish to 
leave? '^ 

** Only when it is quite convenient to you, sir/* 

" But your family have been with us for several 
generations, have they not? I should be sorry to 
begin my life here by breaking an old family con* 

I seemed to discern some signs of emotion upon 
tiie butler's white face. 

^ I feel that also^ sir, and so does my wife. But 
to tcD the truth, sir, we were both very much at' 
tached to Sir Charles, and his death gave us a shock 
and made these surroundings very painful to us. I 
fear that we shall nevei^ again be easy in our minds 
at Baskenalle Hall/^ 

*' But what do you intend to do? *' 

**l have no doubt, rfr, that we shall succeed 
in establishing ourselves in some business. Sir 
Charles's generosity has given us the means to do 
io. And now, sir, perhaps I had best show you to 
your rooms." 

A square balustraded gallery ran round the top 
di the old hall, approached by a double stair. From 
this central point two long corridors extended the 
whole length of the building, from which all the 



bedrooms opened. My own was in the same wing 
as Baskerville's and almost next door to it. These 
rooms appeared to be much more modern than the 
central part of the house, and the bright paper and 
numerous candles did something to remove the 
sombre impression which our arrival had left upon 
my mind. 

But the dining-room which opened out of the hall 
was a place of shadow and gloom. It was a long 
chamber with a step separating the dais where the 
family sat from the lower portion reserved for their 
dependents. At one end a minstrel's gallery over- 
looked it. Black beams shot across above our 
heads, vrith a smoke-darkened ceiling beyond them. 
With rows of flaring torches to light it up, and the 
colour and rude hilarity of an old-time banquet, it 
might have softened; but now, when two black- 
clothed gentlemen sat in the little circle of light 
thrown by a shaded lamp, one's voice became 
hushed and one's spirit subdued. A dim line of 
ancestors, in every variety of dress, from the Eliza- 
bethan knight to the buck of the Regency, stared 
down upon us and daunted us by their silent com- 
pany. We talked little, and I for one was glad 
when the meal was over and we were able to retire 
into the modern billiard-room and smoke a cigar- 

" My word, it isn't a very cheerful place," said 
Sir Henry. ** I suppose one can tone down to it, 
but I feel a bit out of the picture at present. I 



don't wonder that my uncle got a little jumpy if he 
lived all alone in such a house as this. However, if 
it suits you, we will retire early to-night, and per- 
haps things may seem more cheerful in the mom- 

• if 

I drew aside my curtains before I went to bed 
and looked out from my window. It opened upon 
the grassy space which lay in front of the hall door. 
Beyond, two copses of trees moaned and swung in 
a rising wind. A half moon broke through the rifts 
of racing clouds. In its cold light I saw beyond the 
trees a broken fringe of rocks, and the long, low 
curve of the melancholy moor. I closed the cur- 
tain, feeling that my last impression was in keeping 
with the rest. 

And yet it was not quite the last. I found myself 
weary and yet wakeful, tossing restlessly from side 
to side, seeking for the sleep which would not come. 
Far away a chiming clock struck out the quarters 
of the hours, but otherwise a deathly silence lay 
upon the old house. And then suddenly, in the 
very dead of the night, there came a sound to my 
ears, clear, resonant, and unmistakable. It was the 
sob of a woman, the muffled, strangling gasp of one 
who is torn by an uncontrollable sorrow. I sat up 
in bed and listened intently. The noise could not 
have been far away and was certainly in the house. 
For half an hour I waited with every nerve on the 
alert, but there came no other sound save the chim- 
ing clock and the rustle of the ivy on the wall 



The Stapletons of Merripit House 

I HE fresh beauty of the following morning 
did something to efface from our minds 
the grim and grey impression which had 
been left upon both of us by our first experi- 
ence of Baskerville Hall. As Sir Henry and I sat 
at breakfast the sunlight flooded in through the 
high muUioned windows, throwing watery patches 
of colour from the coats of arms which covered 
them. The dark panelling glowed like bronze in 
the golden rays, and it was hard to realize that this 
was indeed the chamber which had struck such a 
gloom into our souls upon the evening before. 

" I guess it is ourselves and not the house that 
we have to blame ! " said the baronet. " We were 
tired with our journey and chilled by our drive, so 
we took a grey view of the place. Now we are 
fresh and well, so it is all cheerful once more." 

" And yet it was not entirely a question of imag 
ination," I answered. " Did you, for example, hap 
pen to hear someone, a woman I think, sobbing in 
the night? " 

** That is curious, for I did when I was half asleep 
fancy that I heard something of the sort. I waited 



quite a time, but there was no more of it, so I con- 
cluded that it was all a dream." 

" I heard it distinctly, and I am sure that it was 
really the sob of a woman." 

" We must ask about this right away." He rang 
the bell and asked Barrymore whether he could ac- 
count for our experience. It seemed to me that 
the pallid features of the butler turned a shade paler 
still as he listened to his master's question. 

"There are only two women in the house, Sir 
Henry," he answered. " One is the scullery-maid, 
who sleeps in the other wing. The other is my 
wife, and I can answer for it that the sound could 
not have come from her." 

And yet he lied as he said it, for it chanced that 
after breakfast I met Mrs. Barrymore in the long 
corridor with the sun full upon her face. She was 
a large, impassive, heavy-featured woman with a 
stern set expression of mouth. But her tell-tale 
eyes were red and glanced at me from between 
swollen lids. It was she, then, who wept in the 
night, and if she did so her husband must know it. 
Yet he had taken the obvious risk of discovery in 
declaring that it was not so. Why had he done 
this? And why did she weep so bitterly? Already 
round this palcrfaced, handsome, black-bearded 
man there was gathering an atmosphere of mystery 
and of gloom. It was he who had been the first 
to discover the body of Sir Charles, and we had 
only his word for all the circumstances which led 



up to the old man's death. Was it possible that it 
was Barrymore after all whom we had seen in the 
cab in Regent Street? The beard might well have 
been the same. The cabman had described a some- 
what shorter man, but such an impression might 
easily have been erroneous. How could I settle the 
point for ever? Obviously the first thing to do was 
to see the Grimpen postmaster, and find whether 
the test telegram had really been placed in Barry- 
more's own hands. Be the answer what it might, 
I should at least have something to report to Sher- 
lock Holmes. 

Sir Henry had numerous papers to examine after 
breakfast, so that the time was propitious for my 
excursion. It was a pleasant walk of four miles 
along the edge of the moor, leading me at last to a 
small grey hamlet, in which two larger buildings, 
which proved to be the inn and the house of Dr. 
Mortimer, stood high above the rest. The post* 
master, who was also the village grocer, had a clear 
recollection of the telegram. 

" Certainly, sir," said he, " I had the telegram 
delivered to Mr. Barrymore exactly as directed." 

"Who delivered it?" 

" My boy here. James, you delivered that tele- 
gram to Mr. Barrymore at the Hall last week, did 
you not? " 

" Yes, father, I delivered it." 

" Into his own hands? " I asked. 

" Well, he was up in the loft at the time, so that 



I could not put it into his own hands, but I gave 
it into Mrs. Barrymore's hands, and she promised to 
deliver it at once." 

" Did you see Mr. Barrymore? " 
" No, sir; I tell you he was in the loft." 
" If you didn't see him, how do you know he was 
in the loft?" 

" Well, surely his own wife ought to know where 
he is," said the postmaster, testily. " Didn't he get 
the telegram? If there is any mistake it is for Mr. 
Barrymore himself to complain." 

It seemed hopeless to pursue the inquiry any fai\ 
thcr, but it was clear that in spite of Holmes's ruse 
we had no proof that Barrymore had not been in 
London all the time. Suppose that it were so— 
suppose that the same man had been the last who 
had seen Sir Charles alive, and the first to dog the 
new heir when he returned to England. What 
then ? Was he the agent of others or had he some 
sinister design of his own? What interest could hr 
have in persecuting the Baskerville family? i 
thought of the strange warning clipped out of the 
leading article of the Times. Was that his work or 
was it possibly the doing of someone who was bent 
upon counteracting his schemes? The only con- 
ceivable motive was that which had been suggested 
by Sir Henry, that if the family could be scared away 
a comfortable and permanent home would be se- 
cured for the Barrymores. But surely such an ex* 
planation as that would be quite inadequate to 



account for the deep and subtle scheming which 
seemed to be weaving an invisible net round the 
young baronet. Holmes himself had said that no 
more complex case had come to him in all the long 
series of his sensational investigations. I prayed^ 
as I walked back along the grey, lonely road, that 
my friend might soon be freed from his preoccupa- 
tions and able to come down to take this heavy 
burden of responsibility from my shoulders. 

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by the 
sound of running feet behind me and by a voice 
which called me by name. I turned, expecting to 
see Dr. Mortimer, but to my surprise it was a 
stranger who was pursuing me. He was a small, 
slim, clean-shaven, prim-faced man, flaxen-haired 
and lean-jawed, between thirty and forty years of 
age, dressed in a grey suit and wearing a straw hat. 
A tin box for botanical specimens hung over his 
shoulder and he carried a green butterfly-net in one 
of his hands. 

" You will, I am sure, excuse my presumption, 
Dn Watson," said he, as he came panting up to 
where I stood. " Here on the moor we are homely 
folk and do not wait for formal introductions. You 
may possibly have heard my name from our mutual 
friend, Mortimer. I am Stapleton, of Merripit 

" Your net and box would have told me as much/^ 
said I, '' for I knew that Mr. Stapleton was a nat- 
uralist. But how did you know me? " 



" I have been calling on Mortimer, and he pointed 
you out to me from the window of his surgery as 
you passed. As our road lay the same way I 
thought that I would overtake you and introduce 
myself. I trust that Sir Henry is none the worse 
for his journey? " 

" He is very well, thank you." 

" We were all rather afraid that after the sad 
death of Sir Charles the new baronet might refuse 
to live here. It is asking much of a wealthy man 
to come down and bury himself in a place of this 
kind, but I need not tell you that it means a very 
great deal to the country-side. Sir Henry has, I 
suppose, no superstitious fears in the matter? " 

" I do not think that it is likely.'' 

" Of course you know the legend of the fiend dog 
which haunts the family? " 

" I have heard it." 

" It is extraordinary how credulous the peasants 
are about here ! Any number of them are ready to 
swear that they have seen such a creature upon the 
moor." He spoke with a smile, but I seemed to 
read in his eyes that he took the matter more se- 
riously. " The story took a great hold upon the 
imagination of Sir Charles, and I have no doubt that 
it led to his tragic end." 

•" But how? " 

" His nerves were so worked up that the appear- 
ance of any dog might have had a fatal effect upon 
his diseased heart. I fancy that he really did see 



something of the kind upon that last night in the 
Yew Alley. I feared that some disaster might oc- 
cur, for I was very fond of the old man, and I knew 
that his heart was weak." 

" How did you know that? " 

" My friend Mortimer told me." 

" You think, then, that some dog pursued Sir 
Charles, and that he died of fright in consequence? " 

" Have you any better explanation? " 

" I have not come to any conclusion." 

" Has Mr. Sherlock Holmes? " 

The words took away my breath for an instant^ 
but a glance at the placid face and steadfast eyes of 
my companion showed that no surprise was in- 

*' It is useless for us to pretend that we do not 
know you, Dr. Watson," said he. " The records of 
your detective have reached us here, and you could 
not celebrate him without being known yourself. 
When Mortimer told me your name he could not 
deny your identity. If you are here, then it follows 
that Mr. Sherlock Holmes is interesting himself in 
the matter, and I am naturally curious to know what 
view he may take." 

I am afraid that I cannot answer that question." 
May I ask if he is going to honour us with a 
visit himself? " 

" He cannot leave town at present. He has 
other cases which engage his attention." 

" What a pity! He might throw some light on 



that which is so dark to us- But as to your own 
researches, if there is any possible way in which I 
can be of service to you I trust that you will com- 
mand me. If I had any indication of the nattu^ 
of your suspicions, or how you propose to investi- 
g2Lte the case, I might perhaps even now give you^ 
some aid or advice." 

" I assure you that I am simply here upon a visit 
to my friend Sir Henry, and that I need no help of 
any land." 

" Excellent ! " said Stapleton. " You are per- 
fectly right to be wary and discreet. I am justly 
reproved for what I feel was an unjustifiable intru- 
sion, and I promise you that I will not mention the 
matter again." 

We had come to a point where a narrow grassy 
path struck off from the road and wound away 
across the moor. A steep, boulder-sprinkled hiB 
lay upon the right which had in bygone days been 
cut into a granite quarry. The face which was 
turned towards us formed a dark cliff, with ferns 
and brambles growing in its niches. From over a 
distant rise there floated a grey plume of smoke. 

" A moderate walk along this moor-path brings 
us to Merripit House," said he. " Perhaps you will 
spare an hour that I may have the pleasure of in- 
troducing you to my sister." 

My first thought was that I should be by Sir 
Henry's side. But then I remembered the pile of 
papers and bills with which his study table was lit* 



tered. It was certain that I cbuld not help him 
with those. And Holmes had expressly said that 
I should study the neighbours upon the moor. I 
accepted Stapleton's invitation, and we turned to* 
gether down the path. 

" It is a wonderful place, the moor/' said he, look- 
ing round over the undulating downs, long green 
rollers, with crests of jagged granite foaming up 
into fantastic surges. " You never tire of the moor. 
You cannot think the wonderful secrets which it 
contains. It is so vast, and so barren, and so mys- 

" You know it well, then? " 

" I have only been here two years. The residents 
would call me a new comer. We came shortly af- 
ter Sir Charles settled. But my tastes led me to 
/explore every part of the country round, and I 
should think that there are few men who know it 
better than I do." 

" Is it so hard to know? " 

"Very hard. You see, for example, this great 
plain to the north here, with the queer hills break- 
ing out of it. Do you observe anything remark- 
able about that? " 

" It would be a rare place for a gallop." 

" You would naturally think so and the thought 
has cost several their lives before now. You notice 
those bright green spots scattered thickly over 

'* Yes, they seem more fertile than the rest." 



Stapleton laughed. 

" That is the great Grimpen Mire," said he. " A 
false step yonder means death to man or beast. 
Only yesterday I saw one of the moor ponies wan- 
der into it. He never came out. I saw his head 
for quite a long time craning out of the bog-hole, 
but it sucked him down at last. Even in dry sea- 
sons it is a danger to cross it, but after these 
autumn rains it is an awful place. And yet I can 
find my way to the very heart of it and return alive. 
By George, there is another of those miserable 
ponies 1 " 

Something brown was rolling and tossing among 
the green sedges. Then a long, agonized, writhing 
neck shot upwards and a dreadful cry echoed over 
the moor. It turned me cold with horror, but my 
companion's nerves seemed to be stronger than 

" It's gone ! " said he. " The mire has him. 
Two in two days, and many more, perhaps, for they 
get in the way of going there in the dry weather, 
and never know the difference until the mire has 
them in its clutch. It's a bad place, the great 
Grimpen Mire." 

" And you say you can penetrate it? " 

" Yes, there are one or two paths which a very 
active man can take. I have found them out." 

" But why should you wish to go into so horrible 
a place? " 

"Well, you see the hills beyond? They arc 





reall) islands cut off on all sides by the impassable 
mire, which has crawled round them in the course 
^ of years. That is where the rare plants and the but- 

terflies are, if you have the wit to reach them." 
" I shall try my luck some day." 
^ H^ looked at me with a surprised face. 

" For God's sake put such an idea out of your 
I mind," said he. " Your blood would be upon my 

» head. I assure you that there would not be the 

' least chance of your coming back alive. It is only 

by remembering certain complex landmarks that I 
^ am able to do it." 

J " Halloa ! " I cried. " What is that? " 

^ A long, low moan, indescribably sad, swept over 

* the moor. It filled the whole air, and yet it was 

impossible to say whence it came. From a dull 
murmur it swelled into a deep roar, and then sank 
back into a melancholy, throbbing murmur once 
again. Stapleton looked at me with a curious ex- 
pression in his face. 

" Queer place, the moor ! " said he. 
" But what is it? " 

" The peasants say it is the Hound of the Basker* 
villes calling for its prey. IVe heard it once or 
twice before, but never quite so loud." 

I looked rotmd, with a chill of fear in my heart, 
at the huge swelling plain, mottled with the green 
patches of rushes. Nothing stirred over the vast 
expanse save a pair of ravens, which croaked loudly 
firom a tor behind us. 



" You are an educated .man. You don't believe 
such nonsense as that?" said I. "What do you 
think is the cause of so strange a sound? " 

" Bogs make queer noises sometimes. It's 
the mud settling, or the water rising, or some- 

" No, no, that was a living voice." 

" Well, perhaps it was. Did you ever hear a bit- 
tern booming? " 

" No, I never did.?' 

" It's a very rare bird — ^practically extinct — ^in 
England now, but all things are possible upon the 
moor. Yes, I should not be surprised to learn that 
what we have heard is the cry of the last of the 

" It's the weirdest, strangest thing that ever I 
heard in my life." 

" Yes, it's rather an uncanny place altogether. 
Look at the hill-side yonder. What do you make 
of those? " 

The whole steep slope was covered with grey cir- 
cular rings of stone, a score of them at least. 

" What are they? Sheep-pens? " 

" No, they are the homes of our worthy ancestors. 
Prehistoric man lived thickly on the moor, and as 
no one in particular has lived there since, we find all 
his little arrangements exactly as he left them. 
These are his wigwams with the roofs off. You can 
even see his hearth and his couch if you have the 
curiosity to go inside." 



" But it is quite a town. When was it inhab- 
ited? " 

** Neolithic man — no date." 

"What did he do?" 

^He grazed his cattle on these slopes, and he 
learned to dig for tin when the bronze sword began 
to supersede the stone axe. Look at the great 
trench in the opposite hill. That is his mark. Yes, 
you will find some very singular points about the 
moor, Dr. Watson. Oh, excuse me an instant 1 It 
is surely Cyclopides." 

A small fly or moth had fluttered across our path, 
and in an instant Stapleton was rushing with ex- 
traordinary energy and speed in 'pursuit of it. To 
my dismay the creature flew straight for the great 
mire, and my acquaintance never paused for an in* 
stant, bounding from tuft to tuft behind it, his green 
net waving in the air. His grey clothes and jerky, 
zigzag, irregular progress made him not unlike 
some huge moth himself. I was standing watching 
his pursuit with a mixture of admiration for his ex- 
traordinary activity and fear lest he should lose his 
footing in the treacherous mire, when I heard the 
sound of steps, and turning round found a woman 
near me upon the path. She had come from the 
direction in which the plume of smoke indicated the 
position of Merripit House, but the dip of the moor 
had hid her until she was quite close. 

I could not doubt that this was the Miss Staple- 
ton of whom I had been told, since ladies of any sort 



must be few upon the moor, and I remembered that 
I had heard someone describe her as being a beauty. 
The woman who approached me was certainly that, 
and of a most uncommon type. There could not 
have been a greater contrast between brother and 
sister, for Stapleton was neutral tinted, with light 
hair and grey eyes, while she was darker than any 
brunette whom I have seen in England — slim, ele- 
gant, and tall. She had a proud, finely cut face, so 
regular that it might have seemed impassive were 
it not for the sensitive mouth and the beautiful dark, 
eager eyes. With her perfect figure and elegant 
dress she was, indeed, a strange apparition upon 
a lonely moorland path. Her eyes were on flier 
brother as I turned, and then she quickened her pace 
towards me. I had raised my hat, and was about 
to make some explanatory remark, when her own 
words turned all my thoughts into a new channel. 

"Go back!" she said. "Go straight back to 
London, instantly." 

I could only stare at her in stupid surprise. Her 
eyes blazed at me, and she tapped the ground im- 
patiently with her foot. 

Why should I go back? " I asked. 
I cannot explain." She spoke in a low, eager 
voice, with a curious lisp in her utterance. " But 
for God's sake do what I ask you. Go back and 
never set foot upon the moor again." 

" But I have only just come." 

"Man, man!" she cried. "Can you not tell 




when a warning is for your own good? Go back to 
London! Start to-night! Get away from this 
place at all costs! Hush, my brother is coming! 
Not a word of what I have said. Would you mind 
getting that orchid for me among the mares-tails 
yonder? We are very rich in orchids on the moor, 
though, of course, you are rather late to see the 
beauties of the place." 

Stapleton had abandoned the chase and came 
back to us breathing hard and flushed with his ex- 

" Halloa, Beryl! '* said he, and it seemed to me 
that the tone of his greeting was not altogether a 
cordial one. 

** Well, Jack, you are very hot." 

" Yes, I was chasing a Cyclopides. He is very 
rare and seldom found in the late autumn. What 
a pity that I should have missed him! " He spoke 
unconcernedly, but his small light eyes glanced in« 
cessantly from the girl to me« 

** You have introduced yourselves, I can see." 

•* Yes. I was telling Sir Henry that it was rather 
late for him to see the true beauties of the 


** Why, who do you think this is? " 

•* I imagine that it must be Sir Henry Basker 

** No, no,** said I. '* Only a humble commoner 
bot his friend. My name is Dr. Watson." 

A flush of vexation passed over her expressive 



face. " We have been talking at cross purposes/* 
said she. 

" Why, you had not very much time for talk," 
her brother remarked, with the same questioning 

" I talked as if Dr. Watson were a resident instead 
of being merely a visitor," said she. " It cannot 
much matter to him whether it is early or late for 
the orchids. But you will come on, wiU you not, 
and see Merripit House? " 

A short walk brought us to it, a bleak moorland 
house, once the farm of some grazier in the old 
prosperous days, but now put into repair and turned 
into a modem dwelling. An orchard surrounded 
it, but the trees, as is usual upon the moor, were 
stunted and nipped, and the effect qf the whole place 
was mean and melancholy. We were admitted by 
a strange wizened, rusty-coated old man servant, 
who seemed in keeping with the house. Inside, 
however, there were large rooms furnished with an 
elegance in which I seemed to recognise the taste 
of the lady. As I looked from their windows at the 
interminable granite-flecked moor rolling unbroken 
to the farthest horizon I could not but marvel at 
what could have brought this highly educated 
man and this beautiful woman to live in such a 

^ Queer spot to choose, is it not? " said he, as if 
fa answer to my thought. '^ And yet We manage 
to make ourselves fairly happy, do we not, Beryl? '* 



** Quite happy," said she, but there was no ring 
of conviction in her words. 

'' I had a school,'' said Stapleton. '^ It was in the 
north country. The work to a man of my tempera- 
ment was mechanical and uninteresting, but the 
privilege of living with youth, of helping to mould 
those young minds and of impressing them with 
one's own character and ideals, was very dear to me. 
However, the fates were against us. A serious epi- 
demic broke out in the school and three of the boys 
died. It never recovered from the blow, and much 
of my capital was irretrievably swallowed up. And 
yet, if it were not for the loss of the charming com- 
panionship of the boys, I could rejoice over my own 
misfortune, for, with my strong tastes for botany 
and zoology, I find an unlimited field of work here, 
and my sister is as devoted to Nature as I am. All 
this, Dr. Watson, has been brought upon your head 
by your expression as you siuireyed the moor out 
of our window." 

"It certainly did cross my mind that it might be 
a little dull — less for you, perhaps, than for your 

No, no, I am never dull," said she, quickly. 
We have books, we have our studies, and we 
have interesting neighbours. Dr. Mortimer is a 
most learned man in his own line. Poor Sir Charles 
was also an admirable companion. We knew him 
well, and miss him more than I can tell. Do you 
think that I should intrude if I were to call this af- 




temoon and make the acquaintance of Sir Hen-* 

I am sure that he would be delighted." 
Then perhaps you would mention that I propose 
to do so. We may in our humble way do some- 
thing to make things more easy for him until he 
becomes accustomed to his new surroundings. Will 
you come upstairs, Dr, Watson, and inspect my col- 
lection of lepidoptera? I think it is the most com- 
plete one in the south-west of England. By the 
time that you have looked through them lunch will 
be almost ready." 

But I was eager to get back to my charge. The 
melancholy of the moor, the death of the unfortu- 
nate pony, the weird sound which had been associ- 
ated with the grim legend of the BaskerviUes, all 
these things tinged my thoughts with sadness. 
Then on the top of these more or less vague im- 
pressions there had come the definite and distinct 
warning of Miss Stapleton, delivered with such in- 
tense earnestness that I could not doubt that some 
grave and deep reason lay behind it. I resisted all 
pressure to stay for lunch, and I set off at once upon 
my return journey, taking the grass-grown path by 
which we had come. 

It seems, however, that there must have been 
some short cut for those who knew it, for before 
I had reached the road I was astounded to see 
Miss Stapleton sitting upon a rock by the side 
of the track. Her face was beautifully flushed 



with her exertions, and she held her hand to her 

" I have run all the way in order to cut you off. 
Dr. Watson/' said she. " I had not even time to 
put on my hat. I must not stop, or my brother 
may miss me. I wanted to say to you how sorry 
I am about the stupid mistake I made in thinking 
that you were Sir Henry. Please forget the words 
I said, which have no application whatever to you.'* 

" But I can't forget them, Miss Stapleton,*' said 
** I am Sir Henry's friend, and his welfare is a 
•lery close concern of mine. Tell me why it was 
Ihat you were so eager that Sir Henry should re- 
turn to London." 

"A woman's whim. Dr. Watson. When you 
know me better you will understand that I cannot 
always give reasons for what I say or do." 

" No, no. I remember the thrill in your voice. 
I remember the look in your eyes. Please, please^ 
be frank with me. Miss Stapleton, for ever since I 
have been here I have been conscious of shadowb 
all round me. Life has become like that great 
Grimpen Mire, with little green patches ever)rwherc 
into which one may sink and with no guide to point 
the track. Tell me then what it wa5 that you 
meant, and I will promise to convey your warning 
to Sir Henry." 

An expression of irresolution passed for an in* 
stant over her face, but her eyes had hardened 
ilgain when she answered mCc 



" You make too much of it, Dr. Watson," said 
she. " My brother and I were very much shocked 
by the death of Sir Charles. We knew him very 
mtimately, for his favourite walk was over the moot 
to our house. He was deeply impressed with the 
curse which hung over his family, and when this 
tragedy came I naturally felt that thefe must be 
some grounds for the fears which he had expressed. 
I was distressed therefore when another member of 
the family came down to live here, and I telt that 
be should be warned of the danger which he will 
run. That was all which I intended to convey/* 
" But what is the danger? " 
" You know the story of the hound? " 
•* I do not believe in such nonsense.'* 
" But I do. If you have any influence with Sif 
Henry, take him away from a place which has al« 
ways been fatal to his family. The world is wide. 
Why should he wish to live at the place of danger? * 
** Because it is the place of danger. That is Si 
Henry's nature. I fear that unless you can givf 
me some more definite information than this it 
would be impossible to get him to move.'* 

" I cannot say anything definite, for I do not 
know anything definite.'* 

" I would ask you one more question. Miss Sta- 
pleton. If you meant no more than this when you 
first spoke to me, why should you not wish your 
brother to overhear what you said? There is notlh* 
Hig to which he, or anyone else, could dbiect" 



" My brother is very anxious to have the Hal 
inhabited, for he thinks that it is for the good of 
the poor folk upon the moon He would be very 
angry if he knew that I had said anything which 
might induce Sir Henry to go away. But I have 
done my duty now and I will say no more. I must 
get back, or he will miss me and suspect that I have 
seen you. Good-bye 1 " She turned, and had dis- 
appeared in a few minutes among the scattered 
boulders, while I, with my soul full of vague fcsiS^ 
pvrsued my way to Baskerville HalL 



FROM this point onwards I will follow thu 
course of events by transcribing my own let* 
ters to Mr. Sherlock Holmes which lie before 
tie on the table. One page is missing, but other- 
Jvise they are exactly as written, and show my feel- 
ings and suspicions of the moment more accurately 
than my memory, clear as it is upon these tragic 
events, can possibly do. 

Baskerville Hall, October 13th. 
My Dear Holmes, — My previous letters and 
telegrams have kept you pretty well up-to-date as 
to all that has occurred in this most God-forsaken 
comer of the world. The longer one stays here the 
more does the spirit of the moor sink into one's 
soul, its vastness, and also its grim charm. When 
you are once out upon its bosom you have left all 
traces of modern England behind you, but on the 
other hand you are conscious everywhere of the 
homes and the work of the prehistoric people. On 
all sides of you as you walk are the houses of these 
forgotten folk, with their graves and the hug© 
monoliths which are supposed to have marked their 
temples* As you look at their grey stone huts 



against the scarred hill-sides you leave your own 
age behind you, and if you were to see a skin-clad, 
hairy man crawl out from the low door, fitting a 
flint-tipped arrow on to the string of his bow, you 
would feel that his presence there was more natural 
than your own. The strange thing is that they 
should have lived so thickly on what must always 
have been most unfruitful soil. I am no anti- 
quarian, but I could imagine that they were some 
unwarlike and harried race who were forced to ac- 
cept that which none other would occupy. 

All this, however, is foreign to the mission on 
which you sent me, and will probably be very unin- 
teresting to your severely practical mind. I caa 
still remember your complete indifference as to 
whether the sun moved round the earth or the earth 
round the sun. Let me, therefore, return to the 
facts concerning Sir Henry Baskerville. 

If you have not had any report within the last 
few days it is because up to to-day there was noth- 
ing of importance to relate. Then a very surpris- 
ing circumstance occurred, which I shall tell you 
in due course. But, first of all, I must keep you 
in touch with some of the other factors in the sit- 

One of these, concerning which I have said lit- 
tle, is the escaped convict upon the moor. There 
is strong reason now to believe that he has got right 
away, which is a considerable relief to the lonelj{ 
householders of this district. A fortnight bsii 




passed since his flight, during which he has not 
been seen and nothing has been heard of him. It 
is surely inconceivable that he cor Id have held out 
upon the moor during all that time. Of course, 
so far as his concealment goes there is no difficulty 
at all. Any one of these stone huts would give 
him a hiding-place. But there is nothing to eat 
unless he were to catch and slaughter one of the 
moor sheep.' We think, therefore, that he has 
gone, and the outlying farmers sleep the better in 

We are four able-bodied men in this household, 
so that we could take good care of ourselves, but 
I confess that I have had uneasy moments when I 
have thought of the Stapletons. They live miles 
from any help. There are one maid, an old man- 
servant, the sister, and the brother, the latter not 
a very strong man. They would be helpless in the 
hands of a desperate fellow like this Notting Hill 
criminal, if he could once effect an entrance. Both 
Sir Henry and I were concerned at their situation, 
and it was suggested that -Perkins the groom 
should go over to sleep there, but Stapleton would 
not hear of it. 

The fact is that our friend the baronet begins to 
display a considerable interest in our fair neigh- 
bour. It is not to be wondered at, for time hangs 
heavily in this lonely spot to an active man like him, 
and she is a very fascinating and beautiful woman. 
IThere is something tropical and exotic about her 



which forms a singular contrast to her cool and 
unemotional brother. Yet he also gives the idea 
of hidden fires. He has certainly a very marked 
influence over her, for I have seen her continually 
glance at him as she talked as if seeking approba^ 
tion for what she said. I trust that he is kind to 
her. There is a dry glitter in his eyes, and a firm 
set of his thin lips, which goes with a positive and 
possibly a harsh nature. You would find him an 
interesting study. 

He came over to call upon Baskerville on that 
first day, and the very next morning he took us 
both to show us the spot where the legend of the 
wicked Hugo is supposed to have had its origin. 
It was an excursion of some miles across the moor 
to a place which is so dismal that it might have 
suggested the story. We found a short valley be- 
tween rugged tors which led to an open, grassy 
space flecked over with the white cotton grass. In 
the middle of it rose two great stones, worn and 
sharpened at the upper end, until they looked like 
the huge corroding fangs of some monstrous beast. 
In every way it corresponded with the scene of the 
old tragedy. Sir Henry was much interested, and 
asked Stapleton more than once whether he did 
really believe in the possibility of the interference 
of the supernatural in the affairs of men. He 
spoke lightly, but it was evident that he was very 
much in earnest. Stapleton was guarded in his re- 
plies, but it was easy to see that he said less than 



he might, and that he would not express his whole 
opinion out of consideration for the feelings of the 
baronet. He told us of similar cases, where fam- 
ilies had suffered from some evil influence, and he 
left us with the impression that he shared the popa- 
lar view upon the matter. 

On our way back we stayed for lunch at Merripit 
House, and it was there that Sir Henry made the 
acquaintance of Miss Stapleton. From the first 
moment that he saw her he appeared to be strongly 
attracted by her, and I am much mistaken if the 
feeling was not mutual. He referred to her again 
and again on our walk home, and since then hardly 
a day has passed that we have not seen something 
of the brother and sister. They dine here to-night, 
and there is some talk of our going to them next 
week. One would imagine that such a match 
would be very welcome to Stapleton, and yet I nave 
more than once caught a look of the strongest dis- 
approbation in his face when Sir Henry has been 
paying some attention to his sister. He is much 
attached to her, no doubt, and would lead a lonely 
life without her, but it would seem the height of 
selfishness if he were to stand in the way of her 
making so brilliant a marriage. Yet I am certain 
that he does not wish their intimacy to ripen into 
love, and I have several times observed that he has 
taken pains to prevent them from being tete-d-tete. 
By the way, your instructions to me never to allow 
Sir Henry to go out alone will become very much 



more onerous if a love affair were to be added to 
our other difficulties. My popularity would soon 
suffer if I were to carry out your orders to the 

The other day — ^Thursday, to be more exact — 
Dr. Mortimer lunched with us. He has been ex- 
cavating a barrow at Long Down, and has got a 
prehistoric skull which fills him with great joy. 
Never was there such a single-minded enthusiast as 
he! The Stapletons came in afterwards, and the 
good doctor took us all to the Yew Alley, at Sir 
Henry's request, to show us exactly how everything 
occurred upon that fatal night. It is a long, dismal 
walk, the Yew Alley, between two high walls of 
clipped hedge, with a narrow band of grass upon 
either side. At the far end is an old tumble-down 
summer-house. Half-way down is the moor-gate, 
where the old gentleman left his cigar-ash. It is a 
white wooden gate with a latch. Beyond it lies the 
wide moor. I remembered your theory of the af- 
fair and tried to picture all that had occurred. As 
the old man stood there he saw something coming 
across the moor, something which terrified him so 
that he lost his wits, and ran and ran until he died 
of sheer horror and exhaustion. There was the 
long, gloomy tunnel down which he fled. And 
from what? A sheep-dog of the moor? Or a 
spectral hound, black, silent, and monstrous? Was 
there a human agency in the matter? Did the pale, 
watchful Barrymore know more than he cared to 




say? It was all dim and vague, but always there 
is the dark shadow of crime behind it. 

One other neighbour I have met since I wrote 
last. This is Mr. Frankland, of Lafter Hall, who 
lives some four miles to the south of us. He is an 
elderly man, red faced, white haired, and choleric. 
His passion is for the British law, and he has spent 
a large fortune in litigation. He fights for the mere 
pleasure of fighting and is equally ready to take up 
either side of a question, so that it is no wonder 
that he has found it a costly amusement. Some* 
times he will shut up a right of way and defy the 
parish to make him open it. At others he will with 
his own hands tear down some other man's gate and 
declare that a path has existed there from time im* 
memorial, defying the owner to prosecute him for 
trespass. He is learned in old manorial and com- 
munal rights, and he applies his knowledge some- 
times in favour of the villagers of Femworthy and 
sometimes against them, so that he is periodically 
either carried in triumph down the village street or 
else burned in effigy, according to his latest exploit. 
He is said to have about seven lawsuits upon his 
hands at present, which will probably swallow up 
the remainder of his fortune and so draw his sting 
and leave him harmless for the future. Apart from 
the law he seems a kindly, good-natured person, and 
I only mention him because you were particular 
that I should send some description of the people 
who surround us. He is curiously employed at 



present, for, being an amateur astronomer, he has 
an excellent telescope, with which he lies upon the 
roof of his own house and sweeps the moor all day 
in the hope of catching a glimpse of the escaped 
convict. If he would confine his energies to this 
all would be well, but there are rumours that he 
intends to prosecute Dr. Mortimer for opening a 
grave without the consent of the next-of-kin, be- 
cause he dug up the neolithic skull in the barrow 
on Long Down. He helps to keep our lives from 
being monotonous and gives a little comic relief 
where it is badly needed. 

And now, having brought you up to date in the 
escaped convict, the Stapletons, Dr. Mortimer, and 
Frankland, of Lafter Hall, let me end on that which 
is most important and tell you more about the 
Barrymores, and especially about the surprising de- 
velopment of last night. 

First of all about the test telegram, which you 
sent from London in order to make sure that Barry- 
more was really here. I have already explained 
that the testimony of the postmaster shows that the 
test was worthless and that we have no proof one 
way or the other. I told Sir Henry how the matter 
stood, and he at once, in his downright fashion had 
Barrymore up and asked him whether he had re- 
ceived the telegram himself. Barrymore said that 
he had. 

" Did the boy deliver it into your own hands? ^ 
Bsked Sir Henry. 



Barrymore looked surprised, and considered for 
a little time. 

" No," said he, " I was in the box-room at the 
time, and my wife brought it up to me." 

" Did you answer it yourself? " 

"No; I told my wife what to answer and she 
went down to write it" 

In the evening he recurred to the subject of his 
own accord. 

" I could not quite understand the object of your 
questions this morning. Sir Henry," said he. " I 
trust that they do not mean that I have done any- 
thing to forfeit your confidence? " 

Sir Henry had to assure him that it was not so 
and pacify him by giving him a considerable part 
of his old wardrobe, the London outfit having now 
all arrived. 

Mrs. Barrymore is of interest to me. She is a 
heavy, solid person, very limited, intensely respect- 
able, and inclined to be puritanical. You could 
hardly conceive a less emotional subject. Yet I 
have told you how, on the first night here, I heard 
her sobbing bitterly, and since then I have more 
tnan once observed traces of tears upon her face* 
Some deep sorrow gnaws ever at her heart. Some- 
times I wonder if she has a guilty memory which 
haunts her, and sometimes I suspect Barrymore of 
being a domestic tyrant. I have always felt that 
there was something singular and questionable in 
this man's character, but the adventure of last night 
brings all my suspicions to a head, 



And yet it may seem a small matter in itself. 
You are aware that I am not a very sound sleeper, 
and since I have been on guard in this house my 
slumbers have been lighter than ever. Last night, 
about two in the morning, I was aroused by a 
stealthy step passing my room. I rose, opened my 
door, and peeped out. A long black shadow was 
trailing down the corridor. It was thrown by a 
man who walked softly down the passage with a 
candle held in his hand. He was in shirt and 
trousers, with no covering to his feet. I could 
merely see the outline, but his height told me that 
it was Barrymore. He walked very slowly and cir- 
cumspectly, and there was something indescribably 
guilty and furtive in his whole appearance. 

I have told you that the corridor is broken by the 
balcony which runs round the hall, but that it is 
resumed upon the farther side. I waited until he 
had passed out of sight and then I followed him. 
When I came round the balcony he had reached 
the end of the farther corridor, and I could see from 
the glimmer of light through an open door that 
he had entered one of the rooms. Now, all these 
rooms are unfurnished and unoccupied, so that his 
expedition became more mysterious than ever. 
The light shone steadily as if he were standing mo- 
tionless. I crept down the passage as noiselessly 
as I could and peeped round the corner of the door. 

Barrymore was crouching at the window with 
the candle held against the glass. His profile was 



half turned towards me, and his face seemed to be 
rigid with expectation as he stared out into the 
blackness of the moor. For some minutes he stood 
watching intently. Then he gave a deep groan and 
with an impatient gesture he put out the light. In- 
stantly I made my way back to my room, and very 
shortly came the stealthy steps passing once more 
upon their return journey. Long afterwards when 
I had fallen into a light sleep I heard a key turn 
somewhere in a lock, but I could not tell whence 
the sound came. What it all means I cannot guess, 
but there is some secret business going on in this 
house of gloom which sooner or later we shall get 
to the bottom of. I do not trouble you with my 
theories, for you asked me to furnish you only wjth 
facts. I have had a long talk with Sir Henry this 
morning, and we have made a plan of campaign 
founded upon my observations of last night. - I will 
not speak about it just now, but it should make my 
next report interesting reading. 



{Sbcond Report of Ds. Watson.] 

The Light upon the Moor 

Baskerville Hall, Oct. isth. 

MY DEAR HOLMES,— If I was com- 
pelled to leave you without much news 
during the early days of my mission you 
must acknowledge that I am making up fof lost 
time, and that events are now crowding thick and 
fast upon us. In my last report I ended upon my 
top note with Barrymore at the window, and now 
I have quite a budget already which will, unless I 
am much mistaken, considerably surprise you. 
Things have taken a turn which I could not have 
anticipated. In some ways they have within the 
last forty-eight hours become much clearer and in 
some ways they have become more complicated. 
But I will tell you all and you shall judge for your- 

Before breakfast on the morning following my 
adventure I went down the corridor and examined 
the room in which Barrymore had been on the night 
before. The western window through which he 
had stared so intently has, I noticed, one peculiarity 
above all other windows in the house — ^it conunatida 


the nearest outlook on to the moor. There is an 
opening between two trees which enables one from 
this point of view to look right down upon it, while 
from all the other windows it is only a distant 
glimpse which can be obtained. It follows, there- 
fore, that Barrymore, since only this window would 
serve his purpose, must have been looking out for 
something or somebody upon the moor. The 
night was very dark, so that I can hardly imagine 
how he could have hoped to see anyone. It had 
struck me that it was possible that some love in- 
trigue was on foot. That would have accounted 
for his stealthy movements and also for the un- 
edsine;;^ of his wife. The man is a striking-looking 
fellow, very well equipped to steal the heart of a 
country girl, so that this theory seemed to have 
something to support it. That opening of the door 
which I had heard after I had returned to my room 
might mean that he had gone out to keep some 
clandestine appointment. So I reasoned with my- 
self in the morning, and I tell you the direction of 
my suspicions, however much the result may have 
shown that they were unfounded. 

But whatever the true explanation of Barry- 
more's movements might be, I felt that the respon- 
sibility of keeping them to myself until I could ex- 
plain them was more than I could bear. I had an 
interview with the baronet in his study after break- 
fast, and I told him all that I had seen. He was less 
siitrprised than I had expected. 


Sir Henry suddenly drew Miss St.i, leton to his side. 






"I knew that Barrymore walked about nights, 
and I had a mind to speak to him about it," said he. 
" Two or three times I have heard his steps in the 
passage, coming and going, just about the hour you 

" Perhaps then he pays a visit every night to that 
particular window," I suggested. 

" Perhaps he does. If so, we should be able to 
shadow him, and see what it is that he is after. I 
wonder what your friend Holmes would do, if* he 
were here." 

" I believe that he would do exactly what you 
now suggest," said I. " He would follow Barry- 
more and see what he did." 

" Then we shall do it together." 

" But surely he would hear us." 

*' The man is rather deaf, and in any case we must 
take our chance of that. We'll sit up in my room 
to-night, and wait until he passes." Sir Henry 
rubbed his hands with pleasure, and it was evident 
that he hailed the adventure as a relief to his some- 
what quiet life upon the moor. 

The baronet has been in communication with the 
architect who prepared the plans for Sh" Charles, 
and with a contractor from London, so that we may 
expect great changes to begin here soon. There 
have been decorators and furnishers up from 
Plymouth, and it is evident that our friend has large 
ideas, and means to spare no pains or expense to 
restore the grandeur of his family. When the 




house is renovated and refurnished, all that he will 
need will be a wife to make it complete. Between 
ourselves there are pretty clear signs that this will 
not be wanting if the lady is willing, for I have sel- 
dom seen a man more infatuated with a woman 
than he is with our beautiful neighbour. Miss Sta- 
pleton. And yet the course of true love does not 
run quite as smoothly as one would under the cir- 
cumstances expect. To-day, for example, its sur-^ 
face was broken by a very unexpected ripple, which 
has caused our friend considerable perplexity and 

After the conversation which I have quoted about 
Barrymore Sir Henry put on his hat and prepared 
to go out. As a matter of course I did the same. 

" What, are you coming, Watson? " he asked, 
looking at me in a curious way. 

" That depends on whether you are going on th^ 
moor," said I. 

" Yes, I am." 

" Well, you know what my instructions are. I 
am sorry to intrude, but you heard how earnestly 
Holmes insisted that I should not leave you, and 
especially that you should not go alone upon the 


Sir Henry put his hand upon my shoulder, with 
a pleasant smile. 

" My dear fellow," said he, " Holmes, with all his 
wisdom, did not foresee some things which have 
^ppened since I have been on the moor. You un- 



dcrstand me? I am sure that you are the last man 
in the world who would wish to be a spoil-sport. I 
must go out alone." 

It put me in a most awkward position. I was at 
a loss what to say or what to do, and before I had 
made up my mind he picked up his cane and was 

But when I came to think the matter over my 
conscience reproached me bitterly for having on 
any pretext allowed him to go out of my sight. I 
imagined what my feelings would be if I had ta 
return to you and to confess that some misfortune 
had occurred through my disregard for your in- 
structions. I assure you my cheeks flushed at tlie 
very thought. It might not even now be too late 
to overtake him, so I set off at once in the direction 
of Merripit House. 

I hurried along the road at the top of my speed 
without seeing anything of Sir Henry, until I came 
to the point where the moor path branches off. 
There, fearing that perhaps I had come in the 
wrong direction after all, I mounted a hill from 
which I could command a view — the same hill 
which is cut into the dark quarry. Thence I saw 
him at once. He was on the moor path, about a 
quarter of a mile off, and a lady was by his side 
who could only be Miss Stapleton. It was clear 
that there was already an understanding between 
them and that they had met by appointment. They 
were walking slowly along in deep conversatioi^ 



and I saw her making quick little movMnents of her 
hands as if she were very earnest in what she wdis 
saying, while he listened intently, and once or twice 
shook his head in strong dissent. I stood among 
the rocks watching them, very much puzzled as to 
what I should do next. To follow them and break 
into their intimate conversation seemed to be an 
outrage, and yet my clear duty was never for an in- 
stant to let him out of my sight. To act the spy 
upon a friend was a hateful task. Still, I could see 
no better course than to observe him from the hilly 
and to clear my conscience by aonfessingf to him 
afterwards what I had done. It is true that if any 
sudden danger had threatened him I was too far 
away to be of use, and yet I am sure that you will 
agree with me that the position was very difR- 
cult, and that there was nothing more which 1 
could do. 

Our friend, Sir Henry, and the lady had halted 
on the path and were standing deeply absorbed in 
their conversation, when I was suddenly aware that 
I was not the only witness of their interview. A 
wisp of green floating in the air caught my eye, and 
another glance showed me that it was carried on a 
stick by a man who was moving among the broken 
ground. It was Stapleton with his butterfliy-net. 
He was very much closer to the pair than I was, 
and he appeared to be moving in their direction. 
At this instant Sir Henry suddenly drew Miss Sta- 
pleton to his side. His arm was round her, but it 



seemed to me that she was straining away from him 
with her face averted. He stooped his head to hers, 
nnd she raised one hand as if in protest. Next mo- 
ment I saw them spring apart and turn htirriedly 
round. Stapleton was the cause of the interrup- 
tion. He was running wildly towards them, his 
absurd net dangling behind him. He gesticulated 
and almost danced with excitement in front of the 
lovers. What the scene meant I could not im- 
agine, but it seemed to me that Stapleton was abus- 
ing Sir Henry, who offered explanations, which 
became more angry as the other refused to accept 
them. The lady stood by in haughty silence. 
Finally Stapleton turned upon his heel and beck- 
oned in a peremptory way to his sister, who, after 
an irresolute glance at Sir Henry, walked of? by the 
side of her brother. The naturalist's angry gestures 
showed that the lady was included in his displeas- 
ure. The baronet stood for a minute looking after 
them, and then he walked slowly back the way that 
he had come, his head hanging, the very picture of 

What all this meant I could not imagine, but I 
was deeply ashamed to have witnessed so intimate 
a scene without my friend's knowledge. I ran 
down the hill therefore and met the baronet at the 
bottom. His face was flushed with anger and his 
brows were wrinkled, like one who is at his wits* 
ends what to do. 

"Halloa, Watson! Where have you dropped 



from? " said he. " You don't mean to say that you 
came after me in spite of all? " 

I explained everything to him: how I had found 
it impossible to remain behind, how I had followed 
him, and how I had witnessed all that had occurred. 
For an instant his eyes blazed at me, but my frank- 
ness disarmed his anger, and he broke at last into a 
rather rueful laugh. 

" You would have thought the middle of that 
prairie a fairly safe place for a man to be private," 
said he, " but, by thunder, the whole country-side 
seems to have been out to see me do my wooing— 
and i mighty poor wooing at that! Where had 
you engaged a seat? " 

" I was on that hill.'' 

" Quite in the back row, eh? But her brother 
was well up to the front. Did you see him come 
out on us? " 

" Yes, I did." 

"Did he ever strike you as being crazy— this 
brother of hers? " 

" I can't say that he ever did." 

" I daresay not. I always thought him sane 
enough until to-day, but you can take it from me 
that either he or I ought to be in a strait-jacket. 
What's the matter with me, anyhow? You've 
lived near me for some weeks, Watson. Tell me 
straight, now! Is there anything that would pre- 
vent me from making a good husband to a womaa 
that I toved? " 


" I should say not." 

" He can't object to my worldly position, so it 

must be myself that he has this down on. What 

has he against me? I never hurt man or woman 

in my life that I know of. And yet he would not 

p much as let me touch the tips of her fingers.'* 

" Did he say so? " 

"That, and a deal more. I tell you, Watson,. 
I've only known her these few weeks, but from the 
first I just felt that she was made for me, and she, 
too-— she was happy when she was with me, and: 
that ru swear. There's a light in a woman's eycsj 
that speaks louder than words. But he has never 
let us get together, and it was only to-day for the 
first time that I saw a chance of having a few words 
with her alone. She was glad to meet me, but 
when she did, it was not love that she would talk 
about, and she wouldn't have let nie talk about it 
either if she could have stopped it. She kept com* 
ing back to it that this was a place of danger, and 
that she would never be happy until I had left it. 
I told her that since I had seen her I was in no 
hurry to leave it, and that if she really wanted me 
to go the only way to work it was for her to arrange 
to go with me. With that I offered in as many 
words to marry her, but before she could answer 
down came this brother of hers, running at us with 
a face on him like a madman. He was just white 
with rage, and those light eyes of his were blazing 
with fury. What was I doing with the lady? How 



dared I offer her attentions which were distasteful 
to her? Did I think that because I was a baronet 
I could do what I liked? If he had not been her 
brother I should have known better how to answer 
him. As it was I told him that my feelings tow- 
ards his sister were such as I was not ashamed of, 
and that I hoped that she might honour me by be- 
coming my wife. That seemed to make the mat- 
ter no better, so then I lost my temper too, and I 
answered him rather more hotly than I should per- 
haps, considering that she was standing by. So it 
ended by his going off with her, as you saw, and 
here am I as badly puzzled a man as any in tiiis 
county. Just tell me what it all means, Watson, 
and I'll owe you more than ever I can hope to pay." 
I tried one or two explanations, but, indeed, I 
was completely puzzled myself. Our friend's title, 
his fortune, his age, his character, and his appear- 
ance are all in his favour, and I know nothing 
against him, unless it be this dark fate which runs 
m his family. That his advances should be rejected 
so brusquely without any reference to the lady's 
own wishes, and that the lady should accept the 
situation without protest is very amazing. How- 
ever, our conjectures were set at rest by a visit from 
Stapleton himself that very afternoon. He had 
come to offer apologies for his rudeness of the 
morning, and after a long private interview with Sir 
Henry in his study, the upshot of their conversation 
that the breach is quite healed, and that we are 



to dine at Merripit House next Friday as a sign 
of it. 

" I don't say now that he isn't a crazy man," said 
Sir Henry; " I can't forget the look in his> eyes when 
he ran at me this morning, but I must allow that 
no man could make a more handsome apology than 
he has done." 

Did he give any explanation of his conduct? " 
His sister is everything in his life, he says. 
That is natural enough, and I am glad that he 
should understand her value. They have always 
been together, and according to his account he has 
been a very lonely man with only her as a com^ 
panion, so that the thought of losing her was really 
terrible to him. He had not understood, he said, 
that I was becoming attached to her, but when he 
saw with his own eyes that it was really so, and that 
she might be taken away from him, it gave him 
such a shock that for a time he was not responsible 
for what he said or did. He was very sorry for all 
that had passed, and he recognised how foolish and 
how selfish it was that he should imagine that he 
could hold a beautiful woman like his sister to him- 
self for her whole life. If she had to leave him he 
had rather it was to a neighbour like myself than to 
anyone else. But in any case it was a blow to him, 
and it would take him* some time before he could 
prepare himself to meet it. He would withdraw all 
opposition upon his part if I would promise for 
three months to let the matter rest and to be con- 



tent with cultivating the lady's friendship during 
that time without claiming her love. This I prom* 
ised, and so the matter rests." 

So thert is one of our small mysteries cleared up. 
It is something to have touched bottom anywhere 
in this bog in which we are floundering. We know 
now why Stapleton looked with disfavour upon his 
sister's suitor — even when that suitor was so eli- 
gible a one as Sir Henry. And now I pass on to 
another thread which I have extricated out of the 
tangled skein, the mystery of the sobs in the night, 
of the tear-stained face of Mrs. Barrymore, of the 
secret journey of the butler to the western lattice 
window. Congratulate me, my dear Holmes, and 
tell me that I have not disappointed, you as an agent 
— that you do not regret the confidence which you 
showed in me when you sent me down. All these 
things have by one night's work been thoroughly 

I have said " by one night's work," but, in truth, 
it was by two nights' work, for on the first we drew 
entirely blank. I sat up with Sir Henry in his room 
until nearly three o'clock in the morning, but no 
sound of any sort did we hear except the chiming 
clock upon the stairs. It was a most melancholy 
vigil, and ended by each of us falling asleep in our 
chairs. Fortunately we were not discouraged, and 
we determined to try again. The next night we 
lowered the lamp, and sat smoking cigarettes, with- 
out making the least sound. It was incredible how 



slowly the hours crawled by, and yet we were helped 
through it by the same sort of patient interest which 
the hunter must feel as he watches the trap into 
which he hopes the game may wander. One 
struck, and two, and we had almost for the sec- 
ond time given it up in despair, when in an in- 
stant we both sat bolt upright in Qur chairs, with 
all our weary senses keenly on the alert once 
more. We had heard the creak of a step in the 

Very stealthily we heard it pass along until it died 
away in the distance. Then the baronet gently 
opened his door and we set out in pursuit. Already 
our man had gone round the gallery, and the cor- 
Tidor was all in darkness. Softly we stole along 
until we had come into the other wing. We were 
just in time to catch a glimpse of the tall, black- 
bearded figure, his shoulders rounded, as he tip-toed 
down the passage. Then he passed through the 
same door as before, and the light of the candle 
framed it in the darkness and shot one single yellow 
beam across the gloom of the corridor. We shuf- 
fled cautiously towards it, trying every plank before 
we dared to put our whole weight upon it. We 
had taken the precaution of leaving our boots be- 
liind us, but, even so, the old boards snapped and 
creaked beneath our tread. Sometimes it seemed 
impossible that he should fail to hear our approach. 
However, the man is fortunately rather deaf, and 
he was entirely preoccupied in that which he was 


doing. When at last wc reached the door and 
peeped through we found him crouching at the win- 
dow, candle in hand, his white, intent face pressed 
against the pane, exactly as I had seen him two 
nights before. 

We had arranged no plan of campaign, but the 
baronet is a man to whom the most direct way is 
always the most natural. He walked into the 
room, and as he did so Barrymore sprang up from 
the window with a sharp hiss of his breath, and 
stood, livid and trembling, before us. His dark 
eyes, glaring out of the white mask of his face, were 
full of horror and astonishment as he gazed from 
Sir Henry to me. 

" What are you doing here, Barrymore? '* 

" Nothing, sir." His agitation was so great that 
he could hardly speak, and the shadows sprang up 
and down from the shaking of his candle. " It was 
the window, sir. I go round at night to see that 
they are fastened.*' 

" On the second floorf '* 

" Yes, sir, all the windows." 

" Look here, Barrymore," said Sir Henry, stern- 
ly; " we have made up our minds to have the truth 
out of you, so it will save you trouble to tell it 
sooner rather than later. Come, now! No lies I 
What were you doing at that window? " 

The fellow looked at us in a helpless way, and he 
wrung his hands together like one who is in the last 
extremity of doubt and misery. 





** I was doing no harm, sir. I was holding a 
candle to the window." 

" And why were you holding a candle to the win- 
dow? " 

" Don't ask me, Sir Henry— don't ask me I I 
give you my word, sir, that it is not my secret, and 
that I cannot tell it. If it concerned no one but 
myself I would not try to keep it from you." 

A sudden idea occurred to me, and I took the 
candle from the trembling hand of the butler. 

*' He must have been holding it as a signal," said 
I. " Let us see if there is any answer." I held it 
as he had done, and stared out into the darkness of 
the night. Vaguely I could discern the black bank 
of the trees and the lighter expanse of the moor, 
for the moon was behind the clouds. And then I 
gave a cry of exultation, for a tiny pin-point of yel- 
low light had suddenly transfixed the dark veil, and 
glowed steadily in the centre of the black square 
framed by the window. 

" There it is ! " I cried. 

" No, no, sir, it is nothing — ^nothing at alll " the 
butler broke in; " I assure you, sir " 

•* Move your light across the window, Watson I " 
cried the baronet. " See, the other moves also! 
Now, you rascal, do you deny that it is a signal? 
Come, speak upl Who is your confederate out 
yonder, and what is this conspiracy that is going 

The man's face became openly defiant. 



" It is my business, and not yours. I will not 

" Then you leave my employment right away.'* 
" Very good, sir. If I must I must." 
" And you go in disgrace. By thunder, you may 
well be ashamed of yourself. Your family has lived 
with mine for over a hundred years under this roof, 
and here I find you deep in some dark plot against 

" No, no, sir; no, not against you!' It was a 
woman's voice, and Mrs. Barrymore, paler and 
more horrorstruck than her husband, was standing^ 
at the door. Her bulky figure in a shawl and skirt 
might have been comic were it not for the intensity 
of feeling upon her face. 

" We have to go, Eliza. This is the end of it. 
You can pack our things," said the butler. 

" Oh, John, John, have I brought you to this? 
It IS my doing. Sir Henry — ^all mine. He has done 
nothing except for my sake, and because I asked 

" Speak out, then! What does it mean? " 
" My unhappy brother is starving on the moor. 
We cannot let him perish at our very gates. The 
light is a signal to him that food is ready for him, 
and his light out yonder is to show the spot to whicb 
to bring it." 

" Then your brother is " 

" The escaped convict, sir — Selden, the criminal,'^ 
** That's the truth, sir," said Barrymore. " I said 



that it was not my secret and that I could not tell 
it to you. But now you have heard it, and you will 
see that if there was a plot it was not against you." 

This, then, was the explanation of the stealthy 
expeditions at night and the light at the window. 
Sir Henry and I both stared at the woman in amaze- 
ment. Was it possible that this stolidly respectable 
person was of the same blood as one of the most 
notorious criminals in the country? 

" Yes, sir, my name was Selden, and he is my 
younger brother. We humoured him too much 
when he was a lad, and gave him his own way in 
everything until he came to think that the world 
was made for his pleasure, and that he could do 
what he liked in it. Then, as he grew older, he met 
wicked companions, and the devil entered into him 
until he broke my mother's heart and dragged our 
name in the dirt. From crime to crime he sank 
lower and lower, until it is only the mercy of God 
which has snatched him from the scaffold; but to 
me, sir, he was always the little curly-headed boy 
that I had nursed and played with, as an elder sister 
would. That was why he broke prison, sir. He 
knew that I was here and that we could not refuse 
to help him. When he dragged himself here one 
night, weary and starving, with the warders hard 
at his heels, what could we do? We took him in 
and fed him and cared for him. Then you returned, 
sir, and my brother thought he would be safer on 
the moor than anywhere else until the hue and cry 



was over, so he lay in hiding there. But every sec- 
ond night we made sure if he was still there by put- 
ting a light in the window, and if there was an 
answer my husband took out some bread and meat 
to him. Every day we hoped that he was gone, 
but as long as he was there we could not desert him. 
That is the whole truth, as I am an honest Christian 
woman, and you will see that if there is blame in 
the matter it does not lie with my husband, but 
with me, for whose sake he has done all that he 

The woman's words came with an intense ear- 
nestness which carried conviction with them. 

" Is this true, Barrymore? " 

" Yes, Sir Henry. Every word of it." 

" Well, I cannot blame you for standing by your 
own wife. Forget what I have said. Go to your 
room, you two, and we shall talk further about this 
matter in the morning." 

When they were gone we looked out of the win- 
dow again. Sir Henry had flung it open, and the 
cold night wind beat in upon our faces. Far away 
in the black distance there still glowed that one tiny 
point of yellow light. 

" I wonder he dares," said Sir Henry. 

" It may be so placed as to be only visible from 

" Very likely. How far do you think it is? ** 

" Out by the Cleft Tor, I think." 

" Not more than a mile or two off." 




Hardly that." 

Well, it cannot be far if Barrymorc had to carry 
out the food to it. And he is waiting, this villain, 
beside that candle. By thunder, Watson, I am go- 
ing out to take that man ! " \ 

The same thought had crossed my own mind. It 
was not as if the Barrymores had taken us into their 
confidence. Their secret had been forced from 
them. The man was a danger to the community, 
an unmitigated scoundrel for whom there was nei- 
ther pity nor excuse. We were only doing our 
duty in taking this chance of putting him back 
where he could do no harm. With his brutal and 
violent nature, others would have to pay the price 
if we held our hands. Any night, for example, our 
neighbours the Stapletons might be attacked by 
him, and it may have been the thought of this which 
made Sir Henry so keen upon the adventure. 

" I will come," said I. 

*' Then get your revolver and put on your boots. 
The sooner we start the better, as the fellow may 
put out his light and be off." 

In five minutes we were outside the door, start- 
ing upon our expedition. We hurried through the 
dark shrubbery, amid the dull moaning of the 
autumn wind and the rustle of the falling leaves. 
The night air was heavy with the smell of damp and 
decay. Now and again the moon peeped out for 
an instant, but clouds were driving over the face 
of the sky, and just as we came out on the moor a 



thin rain began to fall. The light still burned 
steadily in front. 

Are you armed? " I asked. 
I have a hunting-crop." 

We must close in on him rapidly, for he is said 
to be a desperate fellow. We shall take him by sur- 
prise and have him at our mercy before he can 

" I say, Watson," said the baronet, " what would 
Holmes say to this? How about that hour of dark- 
ness in which the power of evil is exalted? " 

As if in answer, to his words there rose suddenly 
out of the vast gloom of the moor that strange cry 
which I had already heard upon the borders of the 
great Grimpen Mire. It came with the wind 
through the silence of the night, a long, deep mut- 
ter, then a rising howl, and then the sad moan in 
which it died away. Again and again it sounded, 
the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild, and 
menacing. The baronet caught my sleeve and his 
face glimmered white through the darkness. 

" My God, what's that, Watson? " 

" I don't know. It's a sound they have on the 
moor. I heard it once before." 

It died away, and an absolute silence closed in 
upon us. We stood straining our ears, but nothing 

" Watson," said the baronet, " it was the cry of 
a hound." 

My blood ran cold in my veins, for there was a 



break in his voice which told of the sudden horror 
which had seized him. 

" What do they call this sound? " he asked. 

" Who? " 

" The folk on the country-side? " 

" Oh, they are ignorant people. Why should 
you mind what they call it ? " 

" Tell me, Watson. What do they say of it? " 

I hesitated, but could not escape the question. 

"They say it is the cry of the Hound of the 

He groaned, and was silent for a few moments. 

*' A hound it was," he said, at last, " but it seemed 
to come from miles away, over yonder, I think." 

" It was hard to say whence it came." 

'* It rose and fell with the wind. Isn't that the 
direction of the great Grimpen Mire? " 

" Yes, it is." 

"Well, it was up there. Come now, Watson, 
didn't you think yourself that it was the cry of a 
hound? I am not a child. You need not fear to 
speak the truth." 

" Stapleton was with me when I heard it last 
He said that it might be the calling of a strange 

" No, no, it was a hound. . My God, can there be 
some truth in all these stories? Is it possible that 
I am really in danger from so dark a cause? You 
don't believe it, do you, Watson? " 

" No, no." 



" And yet it was one thing to laugh about it in 
London, and it is another to stand out here in the 
darkness of the moor and to hear such a cry as that. 
And my uncle 1 There was the footprint of the 
hound beside him as he lay. It all fits together. 
I don't think that I am a coward, Watson, but that 
sound seemed to freeze my very blood. Feel my 

It was as cold as a block of marble. 

" You'll be all right to-morrow." 

" I don't think I'll get that cry out of my head* 
What do you advise that we do now? " 

" Shall we turn back? " 

" No, by thunder; we have come out to get our 
man, and we will do it. We after the convict, and 
a hell-hound, as likely as not, after us. Come on! 
We'll see it through if all the fiends of the pit were 
loose upon the moor." 

We stumbled slowly along in the darkness, with 
the black loom of the craggy hills around us, and 
the yellow speck of light burning steadily in front. 
There is nothing so deceptive as the distance of a 
light upon a pitch-dark night, and sometimes the 
glimmer seemed to be far away upon the horizon 
and sometimes it might have been within a few 
yards of us. But at last we could see whence it 
came, and then we knew that we were indeed very 
close. A guttering candle was stuck in a crevice of 
the rocks which flanked it on each side so as to 
keep the wind from it, and also to prevent it from 




being visible, save in the direction of Baskerville 
Hall. A boulder of granite concealed our ap- 
proach, and crouching behind it we gazed over it 
at the signal light. It was strange to see this single 
candle burning there in the middle of the moor, 
with no sign of life near it — ^just the one straight 
yellow flame and the gleam of the rock on each side 
of it. 

What shall we do now? " whispered Sir Henry. 
Wait here. He must be near his light. Let 
us see if we can get a glimpse of him." 

The words were hardly out of my mouth when 
we both saw him. Over the rocks, in the crevice 
of which the candle burned, there was thrust out an 
evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed 
and scored with vile passions. Foul with mire, 
with a bristling beard, and hung with matted hair, 
it might well have belonged to one of those old 
savages who dwelt in the burrows on the hillsides. 
The light beneath him was reflected in his small, 
cunning eyes which peered fiercely to right and left 
through the darkness, like a crafty and sj^vage ani- 
mal who has heard the steps of the hunters. 

Something had evidently aroused his suspicions. 
It may have been that Barrymore had some private 
signal which we had neglected to give, or the fellow 
may have had some other reason for thinking that 
all was not well, but I could read his fears upon his 
wicked face. Any instant he might dash out the 
light and vanish in the darkness. I sprang forward 



therefore, and Sir Henry did the same. At the 
same moment the convict screamed out a curse at 
us and hurled a rock which splintered up against 
the boulder which had sheltered us. I caught one 
glimpse of his short, squat, strongly-built figure as 
he sprang to his feet and turned to run. At the 
same moment by a lucky chance the moon broke 
through the clouds. We rushed over the brow of 
the hill, and there was our man running with great 
speed down the other side, springing over the stones 
in his way with the activity of a mountain goat. A 
lucky long shot of my revolver might have crippled 
him, but I had brought it only to defend myself if 
attacked, and not to shoot an unarmed man who 
was running away. 

We were both swift nmners and in fairly good 
training, but we soon found that we had no chance 
of overtaking him. We saw him for a long time 
in the moonlight until he was only a small speck 
moving swiftly among the boulders upon the side 
of a distant hill. We ran and ran until we were 
completely blown, but the space between us grew 
ever wider. Finally we stopped and sat panting on 
two rocks, while we watched him disappearing in 
the distance. 

And it was at this moment that there occurred a 
piost strange and unexpected thing. We had risen 
from our rocks and* were turning to go home, hav- 
ing abandoned the hopeless chase. The moon was 
low upon the right, and the jagged pinnacle of a 



granite tor stood up against the lower curve of its 
silver disc. There, outlined as black as an ebony 
statue on that shining back-ground, I saw the fig- 
ure of a man upon the tor. Do not think that it 
was a delusion, Holmes. I assure you that I have 
never in my life seen anything more clearly. As 
far as I could judge, the figure was that of a tall, 
thin man. He stood with his legs a little separated, 
his arms folded, his head bowed, as if he were brood- 
ing over that enormous wilderness of peat and 
granite which lay before him. He might have been 
the very spirit of that terrible pltice. It was not the 
convict. This man was far from the place where 
the latter had disappeared. Besides, he was a much 
taller man. With a cry of surprise I pointed him 
out to the baronet, but in the instant during which 
I had turned to grasp his arm the man was gone. 
There was the sharp pinnacle of granite still cut- 
ting the lower edge of the moon, but its peak bore 
no trace of that silent and motionless figure. 

I wished to go in that direction and to search the 
tor, but it was some distance away. The baronet^s 
nerves were still quivering from that cry, which re- 
called the dark story of his family, and he was not 
in the mood for fresh adventures. He had not seen 
this lonely man upon the tor and could not feel the 
thrill whic)i his strange presence and his command- 
ing attitude had given to me. ^'A warder, no 
doubt,*' said he. " The moor has been thick with 
them since this fellow escaped.'' Well, perhaps Ui 



explanation may be the right one, but I should like 
to have some further proof of it. To-day we mean 
to communicate to the Princetown people where 
they should look for their missing man, but it is 
hard lines that we have not actually had the tri- 
umph of bringing him back as our own prisoner. 
Such are the adventures of last night, and you must 
acknowledge, my dear Holmes, that I have c(one 
you very well in the matter of a report. Much of 
what I tell you is no doubt quite irrelevant, but still 
I feel that it is best that I should let you have all 
the facts and leave you to select for yourself those 
which will be of most service to you in helping you 
to your conclusions. We are certainly making 
some progress. So far as the Barrymores go we 
have found the motive of their actions, and that has 
cleared up the situation very much. But the moor 
with its mysteries and its strange inhabitants re- 
mains as inscrutable as ever. Perhaps in my next 
1 may be able to throw some light upon this also. 
Best of all would it be if you could come down to 
us. In any case you will hear from me again in 
the course of the next few days. 




SO far I have been able to quote from the re- 
ports which I have forwarded during these 
early days to Sherlock Holmes. Now, how- 
ever, I have arrived at a point in my narrative where 
I am compelled to abandon this method and to 
trust once more to my recollections, aided by the 
diary which I kept at the time. A few extracts 
from the latter will carry me on to those scenes 
which are indelibly fixed in every detail upon my 
memory. I proceed, then, from the morning which 
followed our abortive chase of the convict and our 
other strange experiences upon the moor. 

October i6th. — ^A dull and foggy day with a driz- 
rie of rain. The house is banked in with rolling 
clouds, which rise now and then to show the dreary 
curves of the moor, with thin, silver veins upon the 
sides of the hills, and the distant boulders gleaming 
where the light strikes upon their wet faces. It is 
melancholy outside and in. The baronet is in a 
black reaction after the excitements of the night. 
I am conscious myself of a weight at my heart and 
a feeling of impending danger — ever present dan- 
ger, which is the more terrible because I am unable 
to dtSnt it. 



And have I not cause for such a feeling? Con- 
sider the long sequence of incidents which have all 
pointed to some sinister influence which is at work 
around us. There is the death of the last occupant 
of the Hall, fulfilling so exactly the conditions of the 
family legend, and there are the repeated reports 
from peasants of the appearance of a strange creat- 
ure upon the moor. Twice I have with my own 
ears heard the sound which resembled the distant 
baying of a hound. It is incredible, impossible, 
that it should really be outside the ordinary laws of 
nature. A spectral hound which leaves material 
footmarks and fills the air with its howling is surely 
not to be thought of. Stapleton may fall in with 
such a superstition, and Mortimer also; but if I 
have one quality upon earth it is common-sense, 
and nothing will persuade me to believe in such a 
thing. To do so would be to descend to the level 
of these poor peasants, who are not content with a 
mere fiend dog, but must needs describe him with 
hell-fire shooting from his mouth and eyes. 
Holmes would not listen to such fancies, and I am 
his agent. But facts are facts, and I have twice 
heard this crying upon the moor. Suppose that 
there were really some huge hound loose upon it; 
that would go far to explain everything. But 
where could such a hound lie concealed, where did 
it get its food, where did it come from, how was it 
that no one saw it by day? It must be confessed 
that the natural explanation offers almost as many 



difficulties as the other. And always, apart from 
the hound, there is the fact of the human agency 
in London, the man in the cab, and the letter which 
warned Sir Henry against the moor. This at least 
was real, but it might have been the work of a pro- 
tecting friend as easily as of an enemy. Where is 
that friend or enemy now? Has he remained in 
London, or has he followed us down here? Could 
he — could he be the stranger whom I saw upon 

the Tor? 

It is true that I have had only the one glance at 
him, and yet there are some things to which I am 
ready to swear. He is no one whom I have seen 
down here, and I have now met all the neighbours. 
The figure was far taller than that of Stapleton, far 
thinner than that of Frankland. Barrymore it 
might possibly have been, but we had left him be- 
hind us, and I am certain that he could not have 
followed us. A stranger then is still dogging us, 
just as a stranger dogged us in London. We 
have never shaken him off. If I could lay my 
hands upon that man, then at last we might 
find ourselves at the end of all our difficulties. 
To this one purpose I must now devote all my 

My first impulse was to tell Sir Henry all mf 
plans. My second and wisest one is to play my 
own game and speak as little as possible to anyone. 
He is silent and distrait. His nerves have been 
strangely shaken by that soun4 upon the moos. I 



will say nothing to add to his anxieties, but I will 
take my own steps to attain my own end. 

We had a small sCene this morning after break- 
fast. Barrymore asked leave to speak with Sir 
Henry, and they were closeted in his study some 
little time. Sitting in the billiard-room I more than 
once heard the sound of voices raised, and I had a 
pretty good idea what the point was which was un- 
der discussion. After a time the baronet opened 
his door and called for me. 

" Barrymore considers that he has a grievance/* 
he said. " He thinks that it was unfair on our part 
to hunt his brother-in-law down when he, of his own 
free will, had told us the secret." 

The butler was standing very pale but very col- 
lected before us. 

I may have spoken too warmly, sir,'* said he, 

and if I have I am sure that I beg your pardon. 
At the same time, I was very much surprised when , 
I heard you two gentlemen come back this morn- 
ing and learned that you had been chasing Selden. 
The poor fellow has enough to fight against without 
my putting more upon his track." 

" If you had told us of your own free will it would 
have been a different thing," said the baronet, " you 
only told us, or rather your wife only told us, when 
it was forced from you and you could not help your* 

" I didn't think you would have taken advantage 
of it. Sir Henry— indeed I didn't." 





" The man is a public danger. There are lonely 
houses scattered over the moor, and he is a fellow 
who would stick at nothing. You only want to get 
a glimpse of his face to see that. Look at Mr. Sta- 
pleton's house, for example, with no one but himself 
to defend it. There's no safety for anyone until he 
is under lock and key." 

" He'll break into no house, sir. I give you my 
solemn word upon that. But he will never trouble 
anyone in this country again. I assure you, Sir 
Henry, that in a very few days the necessary ar- 
rangements will have been made and he will be on 
his way to South America. For God's sake, sir, I 
beg of you not to let the police know that he is still 
on the moor. They have given up the chase there, 
and he can lie quiet until the ship is ready for him. 
You can't tell on him without getting my wife and 
me into trouble. I beg you, sir, to say nothing to 
the police." 

"What do you say, Watson?" 

I shrugged my shoulders. " If he were safely out 
of the country it would relieve the tax-payer of a 

" But how about the chance of his holding some- 
one up before he goes? " 

" He would not do anything so mad, sir. We 
have provided him with all that he can want. To 
commit a crime would be to show where he was 

" That is true," said Sir Henry. " Well, Barry- 

more " 



''God bless you, sir, and thank you from my 
heart! It would have killed my poor wife had he 
been taken again." 

'' I guess we are aiding and abetting a felony, 
Watson? But, after what we have heard, I don't 
feel as if I could give the man up, so there is an 
end of it. All right, Barrymore, you can go.'* 

With a few broken words of gratitude the man 
turned, but he hesitated and then came back. 

" You've been so kind to us, sir, that I should 
like to do the best I can for you in return. I know 
something. Sir Henry, and perhaps I should have 
said it before, but it was long after the inquest that 
I found it out. I've never breathed a word about 
it yet to mortal man. It's about poor Sir Charles's 

The baronet and I were both upon our feet 
" Do you know how he died? " 

*' No, sir, I don't know that" 

" What then? " 

" I know why he was at the gate at that hour. 
It was to meet a woman." 

" To meet a woman! He? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" And the woman's name? " 

" I can't give you the name, sir, but I can give 
you the initials. Her initials were L. L." 

" How do you know this, Barrymore? " 

" Well, Sir Henry, your uncle had a letter that 
morning. He had usually a great many letters, for 



he was a public man and well known for his kind 
heart, so that everyone who was in trouble was 
glad to turn to him. But that morning, as it 
chanced, th^re was only this one letter, so I took 
the more notice of it. It was from Coombe Tracey, 
and it was addressed in a woman's hand." 


" Well, sir, I thought no more of the matter, and 
never would have done had it not been for my wife. 
Only a few weeks ago she was cleaning out Sir 
Charles's study — ^it had never been touched since his 
death — ^and she found the ashes of a burned letter 
in the back of the grate. The greater part of it was 
charred to pieces, but one little slip, the end of a 
page, hung together, and the writing could still be 
read, though it was grey on a black ground. It 
seemed to us to be a postscript at the end of the let- 
ter, and it said : * Please, please, as you are a gentle- 
man, burn this letter, and be at the gate by ten 
o'clock.' Beneath it were signed the initials L. L." 

" Have you got that slip? " 

" No, sir, it crumbled ^11 to bits after we moved 

" Had Sir Charles received any other letters in 
the same writing? " 

" Well, sir, I took no particular notice of his let- 
ters. I should not have noticed this one only it 
happened to come alone." 

" And you have no idea who L. L. is? " 

" No, sir. No more than you have. But I ex- 



pect if we could lay our hands upon that lady we 
should know more about Sir Charles's death." 

" I cannot understand, Barrymore, how you came 
to conceal this important information." 

" Well, sir, it was immediately after that our own 
trouble came to us. And then again, sir, we were 
both of us very fond of Sir Charles, as we well might 
be considering all that he has done for us. To rake 
this up couldn't help our poor master, and it's well 
to go carefully when there's a lady in the case. 
Even the best of us " 

" You thought it might injure his reputation? " 

" Well, sir, I thought no good could come of it. 
But now you have been kind to us, and I feel as if 
it would be treating you unfairly not to tell you 
all that I know about the matter." 

"Very good, Barrymore; you can go." When 
the butler had left us Sir Henry turned to me. 
''Well, Watson, what do you think of this new 

" It seems to leave the darkness rather blacker 
than before." 

" So I think. But if we can only trace L. L. it 
should clear up the whole business. We have 
gained that much. We know that there is some- 
one who has the facts if we can only find her. What 
do you think we should do? " 

," Let Holmes know all about it at once. It will 
give him the clue for which he has been seeking. 
I am much mistaken if it does not bring him down." 



I went at once to my room and drew up my re- 
port of the morning's conversation for Holmes. It 
was evident to me that he had been very busy of 
late, for the notes which I had from Baker Street 
were few and short, with no comments upon the 
information which I had supplied, and hardly any 
reference to my mission. No doubt his blackmail- 
ing case is absorbing all his faculties. And yet this 
new factor must surely arrest his attention and re- 
new his interest. I wish that he were here. 

October 17th. — ^AU day to-day the rain poured 
down, rustling on the ivy and dripping from the 
eaves. I thought of the convict out upon the 
bleak, cold, shelterless moor. Poor devil 1 What- 
ever his crimes, he has suffered something to atone 
for them. And then I thought of that other one 
— the face in the cab, the figure against the moon. 
Was he also out in that deluge — the unseen 
watcher, the man of darkness? In the evening I 
put on my waterproof and I walked far upon the 
sodden moor, full of dark imaginings, the rain beat- 
ing upon my face and the wind whistling about my 
cars- God help those who wander into the great 
mire now, for even the firm uplands are becoming 
a morass. I found the black tor upon which I 
had seen the solitary watcher, and from its craggy 
summit I looked out myself across the melancholy 
downs. Rain squalls drifted across their russet 
face, and the heavy^ slate-coloured clouds hung low 
over the landscape, trailing in grey wreaths dowx 



the sides of the fantastic hills. In the distant hol- 
low on the left, half hidden by the mist, the two 
thin towers of Baskerville Hall rose above the trees. 
They were the only signs of human life which I 
could see, save only those prehistoric huts which 
lay thickly upon the slopes of the hills. Nowhere 
was there any trace of that lonely man whom I had 
seen on the same spot two nights before. 

As I walked back I was overtaken by Dr. Morti- 
mer driving in his dog-cart over a rough moorland 
track, which led from the outlying farmhouse of 
Foulmire. He has been very attentive to us, and 
hardly a day has passed that he has not called at the 
Hall to see how we were getting on. He insisted 
upon my climbing into his dog-cart and he gave 
me a lift homewards. I found him much troubled 
over the disappearance of his little spaniel. It had 
wandered on to the moor and had never come back. 
I gave him such consolation as I might, but I 
thought of the pony on the Grimpen Mire, and I 
do not fancy that he will see his little dog again. 

" By the way, Mortimer," said I, as we jolted 
along the rough road, " I suppose there are few 
people living within driving distance of this whom 
you do not know? " 

" Hardly any, I think." 

" Can you, then, tell me the name of any woman 
whose initials are L. L. ? " 

He thought for a few minutes. 

" No," said he. " There are a few gipsies and 



labouring folk for whom I can't answer, but among; 
the farmers or gentry there is no one whose initials 
arc those. Wait a bit though/' he added, after a 
pause. "There is Laura Lyons — ^her initials are 
L. L. — ^but she lives in Coombe Tracey." 

" Who is she? " I asked. 

" She is Frankland's daughter." 

" What ! Old Frankland the crank? " 

" Exactly. She married an artist named Lyons^ 
who came sketching on the moor. He proved to 
be a blackguard and deserted her. The fault'^from 
what I hear may not have been entirely on one side. 
Her father refused to have anything to do with her, 
because she had married without his consent, and 
perhaps for one or two other reasons as well. So, 
between the old sinner and the young one the girt 
has had a pretty bad time." 

" How does she live? " 

" I fancy old Frankland allows her a pittance, but 
it cannot be more, for his own affairs are consider- 
ably involved. Whatever she may have deserved 
one could not allow her to go hopelessly to the bad. 
Her story got about, and several of the people here 
did something to enable her to earn an honest liv- 
ing. Stapleton did for one, and Sir Charles for 
another. I gave a trifle myself. It was to set her 
up in a typewriting business." 

He wanted to know the object of my inquiries, 
but I managed to satisfy his curiosity without tell- 
ing him too much, for there is no reason why we 



should take anyone into our confidence. To-mor- 
row morning I shall find my way to Coombe Tracey, 
and if I can see this Mrs. Laura Lyons, of equivocal 
reputation, a long step will have been made towards 
clearing one incident in this chain of mysteries. I 
am certainly developing the wisdom of the serpent, 
for when Mortimer pressed his questions to an in- 
convenient extent I asked him casually to what type 
Frankland's skull belonged, and so heard nothing 
but craniology for the rest of our drive. I have 
not lived for years with Sherlock Holmes for 

I have only one other incident to record upon this 
tempestuous and melancholy day. This was my 
<:onversation with Barrymore just now, which gives 
me one more strong card which I can play in due 

Mortimer had stayed to dinner, and he and the 
baronet played ecarte afterwards. The butler 
brought me my coffee into the library, and I took 
the chance to ask him a few questions. 

"Well," said I, "has this precious relation of 
yours departed, or is he still lurking out yonder? " 

" I don't know, sir. I hope to Heaven that he 
has gone, for he has brought nothing but trouble 
here! I've not heard of him since I left out food 
for him last, and that was three days ago." 

" Did you see him then? " 

" No, sir, but the food was gone when next I 
went that way." 



** Then he was certainly there? ** 

" So you would think, sir, unless it was the othef 
man who took it/' 

I sat with my coffee-cup half way to my lips and 
stared at Barrymore. 

" You know that there is another man then? " 

" Yes, sir; there is another man upon the moor/* 

" Have you seen him? " 

" No, sir." 

" How do you know of him then? ** 

" Selden told me of him, sir, a week ago or more. 
He's in hiding, too, but he's not a convict as far 
as I can make out. I don't like it. Dr. Watson — I 
tell you straight, sir, that I don't like it." He spoke 
with a sudden passion of earnestness. 

" Now, listen to me, Barrymore I I have no in- 
terest in this matter but that of your master. I 
have come here with no object except to help him. 
Tell me, frankly, what it is that you don't like." 

Barrymore hesitated for a moment, as if he re- 
gretted his outburst, or found it difficult to express 
his own feelings in words. 

" It's all these goings-on, sir," he cried at last, 
waving his hand towards the rain-lashed window 
which faced the moor. " There's foul play some- 
where, and there's black villainy brewing, to that 
I'll swear! Very glad I should be, sir, to sec Sir 
Henry on his way back to London again!" 

** But what is it that alarms you? " 

^Look at Sir Charles's death I That was bad 

1 59 


enough, for all that the coroner said. Look at the 
noises on the moor at night. There's not a man 
would cross it after sundown if he was paid for it. 
Look at this stranger hiding out yonder, and watch- 
ing and waiting! What's he waiting for? What 
does it mean? It means no good to anyone of the 
name of Baskerville, and very glad I shall be to 
be quit of it all on the day that Sir Henry's new 
servants are ready to take over the Hall." 

" But about this stranger," said L " Can you 
tell me anything about him? What did Selden say? 
Did he find out where he hid, or what he was 
doing? " 

" He saw him once or twice, but he is a deep onc> 
and gives nothing away. At first he thought that 
!ie was the police, but soon he found that he had 
some lay of his own. A kind of gentleman he was» 
as far as he could see, but what he was doing he 
could not make out." 

" And where did he say that he lived? '' 

"Among the old houses on the hillside— the 
stone huts where the old folk used to live." 

** But how about his food? " 

"Selden found out that he has got a lad who 
works for him and brings him all he needs. I dare- 
say he goes to Coombe Tracey for what he wants." 

" Very good, Barrymore. We may talk further 
of this some other time." When the butler had 
gone I walked over to the black window, and I 
looked through a blurred pane at the driving doudft 


and at the tossing outline of the wind-swept trees» 
It is a wild night indoors, and what must it be in 
a stone hut upon the moor. What passion of hatred 
can it be which leads a man to lurk in such a place 
at such a time! And what deep and earnest pur- 
pose can he have which calls for such a triall 
There, in that hut upon the moor, seems to lie the 
very centre of that problem which has vexed mc 
60 sorely. I swear that another day shall not have 
passed before I have done all that man can do to 
reach the heart of the mystery. 


Thb Man on thb Tor 

THE extract from my private diary which 
forms the last chapter has brought my nar- 
rative up to the 1 8th of October, a time 
when these strange events began to move swiftly 
towards their terrible conclusion. The incidents of 
the next few days are indelibly graven upon my 
recollection, and I can tell them without reference 
to the notes made at the time. I start then from 
the day which succeeded that upon which I had 
established two facts of great importance, the one 
that Mrs. Laura Lyons of Coombe Tracey had writ- 
ten to Sir Charles Baskerville and made an appoint- 
ment with him at the very place and hour that he 
met his death, the other that the lurking man upon 
the moor was to be found among the stone huts 
upon the hill-side. With these two facts in my pos- 
session I felt that either my intelligence or my cour- 
age must be deficient if I could not throw some 
further light upon these dark places. 

I had no opportunity to tell the baronet what I 
had learned about Mrs. Lyons upon the evening 
before, for Dr. Mortimer remained with him at cards 
until it was very late. At breakfast, however, I 
informed him about my discovery, and asked him 




whether he would care to accompany me to 
Coombe Tracey* At first he was very eager to 
come, but on second thoughts it seemed to both of 
us that if I went alone the results might be better. 
The more formal we made the visit the less informa- 
tion we might obtain. I left Sir Henry behind, 
therefore, not without some prickings of conscience, 
and drove off upon my new quest. 

When I reached Coombe Tracey I told Perkins 
to put up the horses, and I made inquiries for the 
lady whom I had come to interrogate. I had no 
difficulty in finding her rooms, which were central 
and well appointed. A maid showed me in without 
ceremony, and as I entered the sitting-room a lady, 
who was sitting before a Remington typewriter, 
sprang up with a pleasant smile of welcome. Her 
face fell, however, when she saw that I was a 
stranger, and she sat down again and asked me the 
object of my visit. 

The first impression left by Mrs. Lyons was one 
of extreme beauty. Her eyes and hair were of thfc 
same rich hazel colour, and her cheeks, though con- 
siderably freckled, were flushed with the exquisite 
bloom of the brunette, the dainty pink which lurks 
at the heart of the sulphur rose. Admiration was, 
I repeat, the first impression. But the second was 
criticism. There was something subtly wrong with 
the face, some coarseness of expression, some hard- 
neits, perhaps, of eye, some looseness of lip which 
marred its perfect beauty. But these, of coorMI^ 



are after-thoughts. At the moment I was simply 
conscious that I was in the presence of a very hand- 
some woman, and that she was asking me the rea- 
sons for my visit. I had not quite understood until 
that instant how delicate my mission was. 

" I have the pleasure," said I, " of knowing your 

It was a clumsy introduction, and the lady made 
me feel it. 

" There is nothing in common between my father 
and me," she said. " I owe him nothing, and his 
friends are not mine. If it were not for the late 
Sir Charles Baskerville and some other kind hearts I 

I might have starved for all that my father cared." j 

**It was about the late Sir Charles Baskerville i 

^hsit I have come here to see you." \ 

The freckles started out on the lady's face* 

*' What can I tell you about him? " she asked, 
and her fingers played nervously over the stops of 
her typewriter. j 

" You knew him, did you not? " ^ 

" I have^ already said that I owe a great deal to j 

his kindness. If I am able to support myself it is *! 

largely due to the interest which he took in my un- j 

happy situation." I 

" Did you correspond with him? " j 

The lady looked quickly up with an angry gleam 
in her hazel eyes. j 

"What is the object of these questions?** slw ^| 

asked, sharply. 




*' The object is to avoid a public scandal. It is 
better that I should ask them here than that the 
matter should pass outside our control." 

She was silent and her face was still very pale. 
At last she looked up with something reckless and 
defiant in her manner. 

" Well, m answer," she said. " What are your 
questions? " 

" Did you correspond with Sir Charles? " 

" I certainly wrote to him once or twice to ae» 
knowledge his delicacy and his generosity.*' 

" Have you the dates of those letters? " 

" No." 

" Have you ever met him? " 

" Yes, once or twice, when he came into Coombe 
Tracey. He was a very retiring man, and he pre- 
ferred to do good by stealth." 

" But if you saw him so seldom and wrote so sel- 
dom, how did he know enough about your affairs 
to be able to help you, as you say that he has 

She met my difficulty with the utmost readi- 

"There were several gentlemen who knew my 
sad history and united, to help me. One was Mr. 
Stapletori, a neighbour and intimate friend of Sir 
Charles's. He was exceedingly kind, and it wa^ 
through him that Sir Charles learned about my 

I knew already that Sir Charles Baskerville had 




made Stapleton his almoner upon several occasions^ 
80 the lady's statement bore the impress of truth 
upon it. 

" Did you ever write to Sir Charles asking him 
to meet you? " I continued. 

Mrs. Lyons flushed with anger again. 

" Really, sir, this is a very extraordinary ques- 

" I am sorry, Madame, but I must repeat it" 

" Then I answer, certainly not." 

" Not on the very day of Sir Charles's death? '* 

The flush had faded in an instant, and a deathly 
face was before me. Her dry lips could not speak 
the " No " which I saw rather than heard. 

" Surely your memory deceives you," said I. " I 
could even quote a passage of your letter. It ran 
* Please, please, as you are a gentleman, burn this 
letter, and be at the gate by ten o'clock.' " 

I thought that she had fainted, but she recovered 
herself by a supreme effort. 

" Is there no such thing as a gentleman? " she 

" You do Sir Charles an injustice. He did bum 
the letter. But sometimes a letter may be legible 
even when burned. You acknowledge now that 
you wrote it." 

" Yes, I did write it," she cried, pouring out her 
soul in a torrent of words. " I did write it. Why 
should I deny it? I have no reason to be ashamed 
of it I wished him to help me. I believed that if 




I had an interview I could gain his help, so I asked 
him to meet me." 

"But why at such an hour?" 

"Because I had only just learned that he was go- 
ing to London next day and might be away for 
months. There were reasons why I could not g^t 
there earKer." 

" But why a rendezvous in the garden instead of a 
a visit to the house? " 

"Do you think a woman could go alone at that 
hour to a bachelor's house? " 

"Well, what happened when you did get there?" 

"I never went." 

"Mrs. Lyons!" 

"No, I swear it to you on all I hold sacred. I 
lever went. Something intervened to prevent my 

"What was that?" 

" That is a private matter. I cannot tell it." 

"You acknowledge then that you made an ap- 
pointment with Sir Charles at the very hour and 
place at which he met his death, but you deny that 
you kept the appointment." 

"That is the truth." 

Again and again I cross-questioned her, but I 
could never get past that point. 

"Mrs. Lyons," said I, as I rose from this long 
and inconclusive interview, "you are taking a very 
great responsibility and putting yourself in a very 
false position by not making an absolutely clean 



breast of all that you knojv. If I have to call in the 
aid of the police you will find how seriously you are 
compromised. If your position is innocent, why 
did you in the first instance deny having written to 
Sir Charles upon that date? " 

** Because I feared that some false conclusion 
inight be drawn from it, and that I might find my- 
self involved in a scandal" 

" And why were you so pressing that Sir Charles 
jhould destroy your letter? ** 

•* If you have read the letter you will know." 

^ I did not say that I had read all the letter." 

•• You quoted some of it." 

" I quoted the postscript The letter had, as I 
sud, been burned and it was not all legible. I ask 
you once again why it was that you were so press* 
ing that Sir Charles should destroy this letter which 
he received on the day of his death." 

" The matter is a very private one." 

^The more reason why you avoid a public in* 

** I will tell you, then. If you have heard any* 
tiling of my unhappy history you will know that I 
made a rash marriage and had reason to regret it." 

" I have heard so much." 

^ My life has been one incessant persecution from 
A husband whom I abhor. The law is upon his side, 
and every day I am faced by the possibility that he 
my force me to live with him. At the time that I 
iitot^ this letter to Sir Charles I had learned that 



there was a prospect of my regaining my freedooi 
if certain expenses could be met It meant every* 
thing to me — ^peace of mind, happiness, self-respect 
—everything. I knew Sir Charles's generosity, 
and I thought that if he heard the story from my 
own lips he would help me/' 

** Then how is it that you did not go? ** , 

^ Because I received help in the interval from an'* 
other source/' 

'' Why, then, did you not write to Sir Charles and 
explain this?'* 

'' So I should have done had I not seen his death 
m the paper next morning/' 

The woman's story hung coherently together, 
and all my questions were unable to shake it. I 
could only check it by finding if she had, indeed, 
instituted divorce proceedings against her husband 
at or about the time of the tragedy. 

It was unlikely that she would dare to say that 
she had not hetn to Baskerville Hall if she really 
had been, for a trap would be necessary to take her 
there, and could not have returned to Coombe 
Tracey until the early hours of the morning. Such 
an excursion could not be kept secret. The prob- 
ability was, therefore, that she was telling the truth, 
or, at least, a part of the truth. I came away baf- 
fled and disheartened. Once again I had reached 
that dead wall which seemed to be built across every 
path by which I tried to get at the object ci my 
ttiissioa. And yet the more I thought of the lady's 



iKe and of her manner the more I felt that some* 
thing was being held back from me. Why shotdd 
the turn so pale? Why should she fight against 
every admission until it was forced from her? Why 
should she have been so reticent at the time of the 
tragedy? Surely the explanation of all this could 
not be as i^^nocent as she would have me believe. 
For the moment I could proceed no farther in that 
direction, but must turn back 'to that other clue 
which was to be sought for among the stone huts 
upon the moor. 

And that was a most vague direction. I realized 
it as I drove 6ack and noted how hill after hit! 
showed traces of the ancient people. Barrymore's 
only indication had been that the stranger lived in 
one of these abandoned huts, and many hundreds 
of them are scattered throughout the length an4 
breadth of the moor. But I had my own experi* 
ence for a guide since it had showr -nc the man 
himself standing upon the summit of tt^e Black Ton 
That then should be the centre of my search. From 
there I should explore every hut upon the moor un** 
til I lighted upon the right one. If this man weie 
inside it I should find out from his own lips, at the 
point of my revolver if necessary, who he was and 
why he had dogged us so long. He might slip 
away from us in the crowd of Regent Street, but it 
would puzzle him to do so upon the lonely moor. 
On the other hand, if I should find the hut and its 
tenant should not be within it I must remain there^ 



however long the vigil, until he returned. Holmes 
had missed him in London. It would indeed be a 
triumph for me if I could run him to earth, where 
my master had failed. 

Luck had been against us again and again in this 
inquiry, but now at last it came to my aid. And 
the messenger of good fortune was none other than 
Mr. Frankland, who was standing, grey whiskered 
iiod red-faced, outside the gate of his garden, which 
opened on to the high road along which I travelled. 

"Good-day, Dr. Watson," cried he, with un- 
wonted good humour, " you must really give your 
Tiorses a rest, and come in to have a glass of wine 
and to congratulate me." 

My feelings towards him were far from being 
friendly after what I had heard of his treatment of 
his daughter, but I was anxious to send Perkins and 
the waggonette home, and the opportunity was a 
good one. I alighted and sent a message to Sir 
Henry that I should walk over in time for dinner. 
Then I followed Frankland into his dining-room. 

" It is a great day for me, sir— one of the red* 
letter days of my life," he cried, with many chuckles. 
" I have brought oflf a double event. I mean to 
teach them in these parts that law is law, and that 
there is a man here who does not fear to invoke it. 
I have established a right of way through the centre 
of old Middleton's park, slap across it, sir, within 
a hundred yards of his own front door. What do 
you think of that? We'll teach these magnates that 





they cannot ride rough shod over the rights of the 
commoners, confound them! And Tve closed the 
wood where the Femworthy folk used to picnic. 
These infernal people seem to think that there are 
no rights of property, and that they can swaniA 
where they like with their papers and their bottles. 
Both cases decided, Dr. Watson, and both in my 
favour. I haven't had such a day since I had Sir 
John Morland for trespass, because he shot in his 
own warren." 

" How on earth did you do that? " 
" Look it up in the books, sir. It will repay 
reading — Frankland v. Morland, Court of Queen's 
Bench. It cost me £200, but I got my verdict." 
" Did it do you any good? " 
" None, sir, none. I am proud to say that I had 
no interest in the matter. I act entirely from a 
sense of public duty. I have no doubt, for exam- 
ple, that the Fernworthy people will bum me in 
effigy to-night. I told the police last time they did 
it that they should stop these disgraceful exhibi- 
tions. The County Constabulary is in a scandalous 
state, sir, and it has not afforded me the protection 
to which I am entitled. The case of Frankland v. 
Regina will bring the matter before the attention of 
the public. I told them that they would have occa- i 

sion to regret their treatment of me, and already ! 

my words have come true." I 

"How so? "I asked. % 

The old man put on a very knowing expression. i 




" Because I could tell them what they are dying 
to know; but nothing would induce me to help the 
rascals in any way." 

I had been casting round for some excuse by 
which I could get away from his gossip, but nbw 
I began to wish to hear more of it. I had seen 
enough of the contrary nature of the old sinner to 
understand that any strong sign of interest would 
be the surest way to stop his confidences. 

" Some poaching case, no doubt? " said I, with 
an indifferent manner. 

" Ha, ha, my boy, a very much more important 
matter than that! What about the convict on the 
moor? " 

I started. "You don^t mean that you know 
where he is? " said I. 

" I may not know exactly where he is, but I am 
quite sure that I could help the police to lay their 
hands on him. Has it never struck you that the 
way to catch that man was to find out where he 
got his food, and »o trace it to him? " 

He certainly seemed to be getting uncomfortably 
near the truth. " No doubt," said I ; " but how do 
you know that he is anywhere upon the moor? " 

" I know it because I have seen with my own eyes 
the messenger who takes him his food." 

My heart sank for Barrymore. It was a serious 
thing to be in the power of this spiteful old busy- 
body. But kis next remark took a weight from my 




" You'll be surprised to hear that his food is taken 
to him by a child. I see him every day through 
my telescope upon the roof. He passes along the 
same path at the same hour, and to whom should ^ 

he be going except to the convict? " 

Here was luck indeed! And yet I suppressed all 
appearance of interest. A child! Barrymore had 
said that our unknown was supplied by a boy. It 
was on his track, and not upon the convict's, that 
Frankland had stumbled. If I could get his knowl- 
edge it might save me a long and weary hunt. But 
incredulity and indifference were evidently my 
strongest cards. 

" I should say that it was much more likely that 
it was the son of one of the moorland shepherds 
taking out his father's dinner.*' 

The least appearance of opposition struck fire out 
of the old autocrat. His eyes looked malignantly 
at me, and his grey whiskers bristled like those of 
an angry cat. 

" Indeed, sir ! " said he, pointing out over the 
wide-stretching moor. " Do you see that Black 
Tor over yonder? Well, do you see the low hill 
beyond with the thornbrush upon it? It is the 
stoniest part of the whole moor. Is that a place 
wher^ a shepherd would be likely to take his sta- 
tion? Your suggestion, sir, is a most absurd one." 

I meekly answered that I had spoken without 
knowing all the facts. My submission pleased him 
and led him to further confidences. 



*' You may be sure, dr, that I have very good 
grounds before I come to an opinion. I have seen 
the boy again and again with his bundle. Every 
day, and sometimes twice a day, I have been able 
— ^but wait a moment, Dr. Watson. Do my eyes 
deceive me, or is there at the present moment some- 
thing moving upon that hill-side? " 

It was several miles off, but I could distinctly 
see a small dark dot against the dull green and 

"Come, sir, come!" cried Frankland, rushing 
upstairs. " You will see with your own eyes and 
judge for yourself." 

The telescope, a formidable instrument mounted 
upon a tripod, stood upon the flat leads of the 
house. Frankland clapped his eye to it and gave 
a cry of satisfaction. 

" Quick, Dr. Watson, quick, before he passes 
over the hill!" 

There he was, sure enough, a small urchin with 
a little bundle upon his shoulder, toiling slowly up 
the hill. When he reached the crest I saw the rag* 
ged uncouth figure outlined for an instant against 
the cold blue sky. He looked round him, with a 
furtive and stealthy air, as one who dreads pursuit. 
Then he vanished over the hill. 

"Well! Am I right?" 

" Certainly, there is a boy who seems to have 
some secret errand." 

" And what the errand is even a county constable 



could guess. But not one word shall they have 
from me, and I bind you to secrecy also, Dr. Wat«' 
son. Not a word! You understand! " 

" Just as you wish." 

" They have treated me shamefully — shamefully. 
When the facts come out in Frankland v. Regina 
I venture to think that a thrill of indignation will 
run through the country. Nothing would induce 
me to help the police in any way. For all they 
cared it might have been me, instead of my effigy, 
which these rascals burned at the stake. Surely 
you are not going! You will help me to empty the 
decanter in honour of this great occasion! " 

But I resisted all his solicitations and succeeded 
in dissuading him from his announced intention of 
walking home with me. I kept the road as long 
as his eye was on me, and then I struck off across 
the moor and made for the stony hill over which 
the boy had disappeared. Everything was working 
in my favour, and I swore that it should not be 
through lack of energy or perseverance that I 
should miss the chance which Fortune had thrown 
in my way. 

The sun was already sinking when I reached the 
summit of the hill, and the long slopes beneath me 
were all golden-green on one side and grey shadow 
on the other. A haze lay low upon the farthest 
sky-line, oAt of which jutted the fantastic shapes of 
Belliver and Vixen Tor. Over the wide expanse Jl 

there was no sound and no movement. One great 




grey bird, a gull or curlew, soared aloft in the blue 
Heaven. He and I seemed to be the only hving 
things between the huge arch of the sky and the 
desert beneath it. The barren scene, the sense pi 
loneliness, and the mystery and urgency of my task 
all struck a chill into my heart. The boy was no- 
where to be seen. But down beneath me in a cleft 
of the hills there was a circle of the old stone huts, 
and in the middle of them there was one which re- 
tained sufficient roof to act as a screen against the 
weather. My heart leaped within me as I saw it. 
This must be the burrow where the stranger 
lurked. At last my foot was on the threshold of 
his hiding place — his secret was within my grasp. 

As I approached the hut, walking as warily as 
Stapleton would do when with poised net he drew 
near the settled butterfly, I satisfied myself that the 
place had indeed been used as a habitation. A 
vague pathway among the boulders led to the 
dilapidated opening which served as a door. AB 
was silent within. The unknown might be lurking 
fhere, or he might be prowling on the moor. My 
^ verves tingled with the sense of adventure. Throw- 

^ ing aside my cigarette, I closed my hand upon the 

butt of my revolver and, walking swiftly up to the 
door, I looked in. The place was empty. 
} But there were ample signs that I had not conie 

j^ upon a false scent. This was certainly where the 

/' man lived. Some blankets rolled in a waterproof 

M lay upon that very stone slab upon which neolithic 




man had once slumbered. The ashes of a fire were 
heaped in a rude grate. Beside it lay some cook* 
ing utensils and a bucket half-full of water. A lit- 
ter of empty tins showed that the place had been 
occupied for some time, and I saw, as my eyes ba^ 
came accustomed to the chequered light, a pannit 
kin and a half-full bottle of spirits standing in the 
comer. In the middle of the hut a flat stone served 
the purpose of a table, and upon this stood a small 
cloth bundle — the same, no doubt, which I had seen 
through the telescope upon the shoulder of the boy. 
It contained a loaf of bread, a tinned tongue, and 
two tins of preserved peaches. As I set it down 
again, after having examined it, my heart leaped to 
see that beneath it there lay a sheet of paper with 
writing upon it. I raised it, and this was what I 
read, roughly scrawled in pencil : — 

" Dr. Watson has gone to Coombe Tracey." 

For a minute I stood there with the paper in my 
hands thinking out the meaning of this curt mes- 
sage. It was I, then, and not Sir Henry, who was 
being dogged by this secret man. He had not fol- 
lowed me himself, but he had set an agent — ^the 
boy, perhaps — ^upon my track, and this was his re- 
port. Possibly I had taken no step since I had 
been upon the moor which had not been observed 
and repeated. Always there was this feeling of an 
unseen force, a fine net drawn round us with infinite 
•kill and delicacy, holding us so lightly that it wat 



only at some supreme moment that one realized 
that one was indeed entangled in its meshes. 

If there was one report there might be others^ 
so I looked round the hut in search of them. There 
was no trace, however, of anything of the kind, nor 
could I discover any sign which might indicate the 
character or intentions of the man who lived in this 
singular place, save that he must be of Spartan hab- 
its, and cared little for the comforts of life. When 
I thought of the heavy rains and looked at the 
gaping roof I understood how strong and immuta- 
ble must be the purpose which had kept him in 
that inhospitable abode. Was he our malignant 
enemy, or was he by chance our guardian angel? 
I swore that I would not leave the hut until I 

Outside the sun was sinking low and the west 
was blazing with scarlet and gold. Its reflection 
was shot back in ruddy patches by the distant pools 
which lay amid the great Grimpen Mire. There 
were the two towers of Baskerville Hall, and there 
a distant blur of smoke which marked the village 
of Grimpen. Between the two, behind the hill, was 
the house of the Stapletons. All was sweet and 
mellow and peaceful in the golden evening light, 
and yet as I looked at them my soul shared none 
of the peace of nature, but quivered at the vague- 
ness and the terror of that interview which every 
instant was bringing nearer. With tingling nerves, 
but a fixed purpose, I sat in the dark recess of the 



hut and waited witU sombre patience for the com* 
tng of its tenant. 

And then at last I heard him. Far away came 
the sharp clink of a boot striking upon a stone. 
Then another and yet another, coming nearer and 
nearer. I shrank back into the darkest comer, and 
cocked the pistol in my pocket, determined not to 
discover myself until I had an opportunity of see- 
ing something of the stranger. The^e was a long 
pause which showed that he had stopped. Then j 

once more the footsteps approached and a shadow 
fell across the opening of the hut. 

" It is a lovely evening, my dear Watson," said 
a well-known voice. " I really think that you will 
be more comfortable outside than in." 



Death on the Moor 

F^OR a moment or two I sat breathless, hard- 
ily able' to believe my ears. Then my senses 
and my voice came back to me, while 
a crushing weight of responsibility seemed in an 
instant to be lifted from my soul. That cold, in- 
cisive, ironical voice could belong to but one man 
in all the wodd. 

" Holmes! " I cried— ^^ Hohnes! '' 

" Come out," said he, *' and please be careful with 
the revolver/' 

I stooped under the rude lintel, and there he sat 
upon a stone outside, his grey eyes dancing with 
amusement as they fell upon my astonished feat- 
ures. He was thin and worn, but clear and alert, 
his keen face bronzed by the sun and roughened 
by the wind. In his tweed suit and cloth cap he 
looked like any other tourist upon the moor, and 
he had contrived, with that cat-like love of personal 
cleanliness which was one of his characteristics, that 
his chin should be as smooth and his linen as per- 
fect as if he were in Baker Street. 

**1 never was more glad to see anyone in my 
fife/' said I, as I wrung him by the hand* 



" Or more astonished, eh? " 

" Well, I must confess to ft." 

" The surprise was not all on one side, I assure 
you. I Jiad no idea that you had found my occa- 
sional retreat, still less that you were inside it, tm- 
til I was within twenty paces of the door." 

" My footprint, I presume? " 

" No, Watson; I fear that I could not undertake 
to recognise your footprint amid all the footprints 
of the world. If you seriously desire to deceive me 
you must change your tobacconist; for when I see 
the stub of a cigarette marked Bradley, Oxford 
Street, I know that my friend Watson is in the 
neighbourhood. You will see it there beside the 
path. You threw it down, no doubt, at that su- 
preme moment when you charged into the empty 

**' Exactly." 

" I thought as much — and knowing your admir- 
able tenacity I was convinced that you were sitting 
in ambush, a weapon within reach, waiting for the 
tenant to return. So you actually thought that I 
was the criminal?" 

" I did not know who you were, but I was deter- 
mined to find out." 

" Excellent, Watson ! And how did you localize 
me? You saw me, perhaps, on the night of the 
convict hunt, when I was so imprudent as to allow 
the moon to rise behind me? " 

" Yes, I saw you then." 




'' And have no doubt searched all the huts until 
you came to this one? " 

" No, your boy had been observed, and that gave 
me a guide where to look." 

" The old gentleman with the telescope, no doubt* 
I could not make it out when first I saw the light 
flashing upon the lens." He rose and peeped into 
the hut. " Ha, I see that Cartwright has brought 
op some supplies. What's this paper? So you 
have been to Coombe Tracey, have you? " 

" Yes." 

" To see Mrs. Laura Lyons? " 

" Exactly." 

"Well done! Our researches have evidently 
been running on parallel lines, and when we unite 
our results I expect we shall have a fairly full knowl- 
edge of the case." 

*' Well, I am glad from my heart that you arc 
here, for indeed the responsibility and the mystery 
were both becoming too much for my nerves. But 
how in the name of wonder did you come here, and 
what have you been doing? I thought that you 
were in Baker Street working out that case of black- 

" That was what I wished you to think." 

"Then you use me, and yet do not trust mc!" 
I cried, with some bitterness. " I think that I have 
deserved better at your hands. Holmes." 

" My dear fellow, you have been invaluable to mc 
in this as in many other cases, and I beg that you 



will forgive me if I have seemed to play a trick up- 
on you. In truth, it was partly for your own sake 
that I did it, and it was my appreciation of the dan- 
ger which you ran which led me to come down and 
examine the matter for myself. Had I been with 
Sir Henry and you it is confident that my point of 
view would have been the same as yours, and my 
presence would have warned our very formidable 
opponents to be on their guard. As it is, I have 
been able to get about as I could not possibly have 
done had I been living in the Hall, and I remain 
an unknown factor in the business, ready to throw 
in all my weight at a critical moment." 

" But why keep me in the dark? " 

" For you to know could not have helped us, and 
might possibly have led to my discovery. You 
would have wished to tell me something, or in your 
kindness you would have brought me out some 
comfort or other, and so an unnecessary risk would 
be run. I brought Cartwright down with me — ^you 
remember the little chap at the Express Office — 
and he has seen after my simple wants: a loaf of 
bread and a clean collar. What does man want 
more? He has given me an extra pair of eyes 
upon a very active pair of feet, and both have been 

" Then my reports have all be^ wasted ! " — ^My 
voice trembled as I recalled the pains and the pride 
with which I had composed them. 

Holmes took a bundle of papers from his pocket. 




Here are your reports, my dear fellow, and very 
well thumbed, I assure you. I made excellent ar- 
rangements, and they are only delayed one day up- 
on their way. I must compliment you exceedingly 
upon the zeal and the intelligence which you have 
shown over an extraordinarily difficult case." 

I was still rather raw over the deception which 
had been practised upon me, but the warmth of 
Holmes's praise drove my anger from my mind. I 
felt also in my heart that he was right in what he 
said and that it was really best for our purpose that 
I should not have known that he was upon the 


That's better," said he, seeing the shadow rise 
from my face. " And now tell me the result of your 
visit to Mrs. Laura Lyons — ^it was not difficult for 
me to guess that it was to see her that you had 
gone, for I am already aware that she is the one 
person in Coombe Tracey who might be of service 
to us in the matter. In fact, if you had not gone 
to-day it is exceedingly probable that I should have 
gone to-morrow." 
i The sun had set and dusk was settling over the 

». moor. The air had turned chill and we withdrew 

into the hut for warmth. There, sitting together 
in the twilight, I told Holmes of my conversation 
with the lady. So interested was he that I had to 
repeat some of it twice before he was satisfied. 
f " This is most important," said he, when I had 

concluded. "' It fills up a gap which I had bMa 




unable to bridge, in this most complex affair. You 
are aware, perhaps, that a close intimacy exists be- 
tween this lady and the man Staple ton? " 

" I did not know of a close intimacy." 

" There can be no doubt about the matter. They 
meet, they write, there is a complete understanding 
between them. Now, this puts a very powerful 
weapon into our hands. If I could only use it to 
detach his wife " 

" His wife? " 

" I am giving you some information now, in re- 
turn for all that you have given me. The lady who 
has passed here as Miss Stapleton is in reality his 

*' Good heavens, Holmes! Are you sure of what 
you say? How could he have permitted Sir Henry 
to fall in love with her? " 

" Sir Henry's falling in love could do no harm to 
anyone except Sir Henry. He took particular care 
that Sir Henry did not make love to her, as you 
have yourself observed. I repeat that the lady is 
his wife and not his sister." 

" But why this elaborate deception? " 

" Because he foresaw that she would be very 
much more useful to him in the character of a free 

All my unspoken instincts, my vague suspicions, 
suddenly took shape and centred upon the natural- 
ist. In that impassive, colourless man, with his 
straw hat and his butterfly-net, I seemed to see 




something terrible^— a creature of infinite patience 
and craft, with a smiling face and a murderous heart. 

" It is he, then, who is our enemy — ^it is he who 
dogged us in London? " 

" So I read the riddle." 

"And the warning — ^it must have come from 
her! " 

" Exactly." 

The shape of some monstrous villainy, half seen> 
half guessed, loomed through the darkness which 
had girt me so long. 

" But are you sure of this. Holmes? How do 
you know that the woman is his wife? " 

" Because he so far forgot himself as to tell you 
a true piece of autobiography upon the occasion 
when he first met you, and I daresay he has many 
a time regretted it since. He was once a school^ 
master in the North of England. Now, there is no 
one more easy to trace than a schoolmaster. There 
are scholastic agencies by which one may identify 
any man who has been in the profession. A little 
investigation showed me that a school had come to 
grief under atrocious circumstances, and that the 
man who had owned it — the name was different 
— ^had disappeared with his wife. The descriptions 
agreed. When I learned that the missing man was 
devoted to entomology the identification was com* 

The darkness was rising, but much was still hi4« 
den by the shadows. 



" If this woman is in truth his wife, where doe$ 
Mrs. Laura Lyons come in? " I asked. 

" That is one of the points upon which your own 
researches have shed a light. Your interview with 
the lady has cleared the situation very much. I did 
not know about a projected divorce between her- 
self and her husband. In that case, regarding Sta- 
pleton as an unmarried man, she counted no doubt 
upon becoming his wife." 

" And when she is undeceived? " 

** Why, then we may find the lady of service. It 
must be our first duty to see her — ^both of us — to- 
morrow. Don't you think, Watson, that you are 
away from your charge rather long? Your place 
should be at Baskerville Hall." 

The last red streaks had faded away in the west 
and night had settled upon the moor. A few faint 
stars were gleaming in a violet sky. 

" One last question. Holmes," I said, as I rose. 

Surely there is no need of secrecy between you 
and me. What is the meaning of it all? What is 
he after? " 

Holmes's voice sank as he answered: — 

" It is murder, Watson — ^refined, cold-blooded, 
deliberate murder. Do not ask me for particulars. 
My nets are closing uoon him, even as his are upon 
Sir Henry, and with your help he is already almost 
at my mercy. There is but one danger which can 
threaten us. It is that he should strike before we 
are ready to do so. Another day — two at the most 




—and I have my case complete, but until then 
guard your charge as closely as ever a fond mother 
watched her ailing child. Your mission to-day has 
justified itself, and yet I could almost wish that you 
had not left his side — Hark! " 

A terrible scream — a prolonged yell of horror and 
anguish burst out of the silence of the moor. That 
frightful cry turned the blood to ice in my veins. 

"Oh, my God! "I gasped. "What is it? What 
does it mean? " 

Holmes had ^nmg to his feet, and I saw his 
dark, athletic outline at the door of the hut, his 
shoulders stooping, his head thrust forward, his face 
peering into the darkness. 

" Hush ! " he whispered. " Hushi " 

The cry had been loud on account of its vdie* 
mence, but it had pealed out from somewhere iar 
off on the shadowy plain. Now it burst upon our 
cars, nearer, louder, more urgent than before. 

" Where is it? " Holmes whispered; and I knew 
from the thrill of his voice that he, the man of 
iron, was shaken to the soul. " Where is it, Wat- 

" There, I think." I pointed into the darkness. 

"No, there!" 

Again the agonized cry swept through the silent 
night, louder and much nearer than ever. And a 
new sound mingled with it, a deep, muttered rum- 
ble, musical and yet menacing, rising and falling like 
tiie low» constant murmur of the sea. 



" The hound! " cried Holmes. " Come, Watson, 
come ! Great heavens, if we are too late ! " 

He had started running swiftly over the moor, and 
I had followed at his heels. But now from some- 
where among the broken ground immediately in 
front of us there came one last despairing yell, and 
then a dull, heavy thud. We halted and listened. 
Not another sound broke the heavy silence of the 
windless night. 

I saw Holmes put his hand to }iis forehead like 
a man distracted. He stamped his feet upon the 

" He has beaten us, Watson. We are too late." 

"No, no, surely not!" 

" Fool that I was to hold my hand. And you, 
Watson, see what comes of abandoning your 
charge! But, by Heaven, if the worst has hap- 
pened, we'll avenge him ! " 

Blindly we ran through the gloom, blundering 
against boulders, forcing our way through gorse 
bushes, panting up hills and rushing down slopes, 
heading always in the direction whence those dread- 
ful sounds had come. At every rise Holmes looked 
eagerly round him, but the shadows were thick up- 
on the moor, and nothing moved upon its dreary 

Can you see anything? " 


But, hark, what is that? " 

A low moan had fallen upon our ears. There it 





r^s again upon our left! On that side a ridge of 
ocks ended in a sheer cliff which overlooked a 
stone-strewn slope. On its jagged face was spread- 
eagled some dark, irregular object. As we ran 
towards it the vague outline hardened into a defi- 
nite shape. It was a prostrate man face downwards 
upon the ground, the head doubled under him at 
a horrible angle, the shoulders rounded and the 
body hunched together as if in the act of throwing 
a summersault. So grotesque was the attitude that 
I could not for the instant realise that that moan 
had been the passing of his soul. Not a whisper, 
not a rustle, rose now from the dark figure over 
which we stooped. Holmes laid his hand upon 
him, and held it up again, with an exclamation of 
horror. The gleam of the match which he struck 
shone upon his clotted fingers and upon the ghastly 
pool which widened slowly from the crushed skull 
of the victim. And it shone upon something else 
which turned our hearts sick and faint within us— 
the body of Sir Henry Baskerville! 

There was no chance of either of us forgetting 
that peculiar ruddy tweed suit — the very one which 
he had worn on the first morning that we had seen 
him in Baker Street. We caught the one clear 
glimpse of it, and then the match flickered and went 
out, even as the hope had gone out of our souls. 
Holmes groaned, and his face glimmered white 
through the darkness. 

The brute ! the brute ! " I cried, with clenched 





hands. " Oh, Holmes, I shall never forgive myself 
for having left him to his fate." 

" I am more to blame than you, Watson. In or- 
der to have my case well rounded and complete, I 
have thrown away the life of my client. It is the 
greatest blow which has befallen me in my career. 
But how could I know — how could I know — ^that 
he would risk his life alone upon the moor in the j 

face of all my warnings? " ( 

" That we should have heard his screams — my 
God, those screams! — ^and yet have been unable to 
save him! Where is this brute of a hound which 
drove him to his death? It may be lurking among 
these rocks at this instant. And Stapleton, where 
is he? He shall answer for this deed." 

" He shall. I will see to that. Uncle and j 

nephew have been murdered — the one frightened to 
death by the very sight of a beast which he thought 
to be supernatural, the other driven to his end in 
his wild flight to escape from it. But now we have 
to prove the connection between the man and the 
beast. Save from what we heard, we cannot even 
swear to the existence of the latter, since Sir Henry 
has evidently died from the fall. But, by heavens, 
cunning as he is,, the fellow shall be in my power 
before another day is past ! " 

We stood with bitter hearts on either side of the 
mangled body, overwhelmed by this sudden and ir- | 

revocable disaster which had brought all our long i 

and weary labours to so piteous an end. Then, as .' 

192 I 



the moon rose, we climbed to the top of the rocks 
over which our poor friend had fallen, and from the 
summit we gazed out over the shadowy moor, half 
silver and half gloom. Far away, miles off, in the 
direction of Grimpen, a single steady yellow light 
was shining. It could only come from the lonely 
abode of the Stapletons. With a bitter curse I ' 
shook my fist at it as I gazed. 

" Why should we not seize him at once? " 

" Our case is not complete. The fellow is wary 
and cunning to the last degree. It is not what we 
know, but what we can prove. If we ma(ke one 
false move the villain may escape us yet." 

" What can we do? " 

*' There will be plenty for us to do to-morrow. 
To-night we can only perform the last offices to our 
poor friend." 

Together we made our way down the precipitous 
slope and approached the body, black and clear 
against the silvered stones. The agony of those 
contorted limbs struck me with a spasm of pain and 
blurred my eyes with tears. 

"We must send for help. Holmes! We cannot 
carry him all the way to the Hall. Good heavens, 
are you mad?" 

He had uttered a cry and bent over the body. 
Now he was dancing and laughing and wringing my 
hand. Could this be my stem, self-contained 
friend? These were hidden fires, indeed! 

** A beard! A beard! The man has a beard! " 



"A beard?'' 

" It is not the baronet — ^it is — why, it is my 
neighbour, the convict! " 

With feverish haste we had turned the body over, 
and that dripping beard was pointing up to the cold, 
clear moon. There could be no doubt about the 
beetling forehead, the sunken animal eyes. It was, 
indeed, the same face which had glared upon me 
in the light of the candle from over the rock — the 
face of Selden, the criminal. 

Then in an instant it was all clear to me. I re- 
membered how the baronet had told me that he 
had handed his old wardrobe to Barrymore. Bar- 
rymore had passed it on in order to help Selden 
in his escape. Boots, shirt, cap — ^it was all Sir 
Henry's. The tragedy was still black enough, but 
this man had at least deserved death by the laws 
of his country. I told Holmes how the matter 
stood, my heart bubbling over with thankfulness 
and joy. 

"Then the clothes have been the poor devil's 
death," said he. " It is clear enough that the 
hound has been laid on from some article of Sir 
Jlenry's — the boot which was abstracted in the 
hotel, in all probability — and so ran this man down. 
There is one very singular thing, however: How 
came Selden, in the darkness, to know that the 
hound was on his trail? " 

" He heard him." 

^To hear a hound upon the moor would oot 



work a hard man like this convict into such a 
paroxysm of terror that he would risk recapture by 
screaming wildly for help. By his cries he must 
have run a long way after he knew the animal was 
on his track. How did he know? " 

"A greater mystery to me is why this hound, 
presuming that all our conjectures are correct " 

" I presume nothing." 

" Well, then, why this hound should be loose to- 
jght. I suppose that it does not always run loose 
upon the moor. Stapleton would not let it go un- 
less he had reason to think that Sir Henry would 
be there." 

" My difficulty is the more formidable of the two, 
for I think that we shall very shortly get an ex- 
planation of yours, while mine may remain for ever 
a mystery. The question now is, what shall we do 
with this poor wretch's body? We cannot leave it 
here to the foxes and the ravens." 

" I suggest that we put it in one of the huts un- 
til we can communicate with the police." 

" Exactly. I have no doubt that you and I could 
carry it so far. Halloa, Watson, what's this? It's 
the man himself, by all that's wonderful and auda- 
cious ! Not a word to show your suspicions — not a 
word, or my plans crumble to the ground." 

A figure was approaching us over the moor, and 
I saw the dull red glow of a cigar. The moon 
shone upon him, and I could distinguish the 
dapper shape and jaunty walk of the naturalist. 



He stopped when he saw us, and then came on 

" Why, Dr. Watson, that's not you, is it? You 
are the last man that I should have expected to 
see out on the moor at this time of night. But, 
dear me, what's this? Somebody hurt? Not — 
don't tell me that it is our friend Sir Henry! " He 
hurried past me and stooped over the dead man. 
I heard a sharp intake of his breath and the cigar 
fell from his fingers. 

" Who — ^who's this? " he stammered. 

'' It is Selden, the man who escaped from Prince- 

Stapleton turned a ghastly face upon us, but by 
a supreme effort he had overcome his amazement 
and his disappointment. He looked sharply from 
Holmes to me. 

" Dear me! What a very shocking affair! How 
did he die? " 

" He appears to have broken his neck by falling 
over these rocks. My friend and I were strolling 
on the moor when we heard a cry." 

" I heard a cry also. That was what brought me 
out. I was uneasy about Sir Henry." 

" Why about Sir Henry in particular? " I could 
not help asking. 

" Because I had suggested that he should come 
over. When he did not come I was surprised, and 
I naturally became alarmed for his safety when I 
beard cries upon the moor. By the way " — his eyes 




darted again from my face to Holmes's — " did you 
hear anything else besides a cry? " 

" No," said Holmes; " did you? " 

" No." 

" What do you mean, then? " 

" Oh, you know the stories that the peasants tell 
about a phantom hound, and so on. It is said to 
be heard at night upon the moor. I was wondering 
if there were any evidence of such a sound to- 

" We heard nothing of the kind," said I. 

*' And what is your theory of this poor fellow's 

" I have no doubt that anxiety and exposure 
have driven him of! his head. He has rushed about 
the moor in a crazy state and eventually fallen over 
here and broken his neck." 

" That seems the most reasonable theory," said 
Stapleton, and he gave a sigh which I took to indi- 
cate his relief. '^ What do you think about it, Mr. 
Sherlock Holmes? " 

My friend bowed his compliments. 
You are quick at identification," said he. 
We have been expecting you in these parts 
since Dr. Watson came down. You are in time to 
see a tragedy." 

" Yes, indeed. I have no doubt that my friend's 
explanation will cover the facts. I will take an un- 
pleasant remembrance back to London with me to- 





" Oh, you return to-morrow? " 

•* That is my intention." 

** I hope your visit has cast some fight upon thoM 
occurrences which have puzzled us? " 

Holmes shrugged his shoulders. 

** One cannot always have the success for which 
one hopes. An investigator needs facts, and not 
legends or rumours. It has not been a satisfactory 


My friend spoke in his frankest and most uncon* 
cenied manner. Stapleton still looked hard at him. 
Then he turned to me. 

** I would suggest carrying this poor fellow to 
my house, but it would give my sister such a fright 
that I do not feel justified in doing it I think that 
if we put something over his face he will be safe 
until morning/' 

And so it was arranged Resisting Stapleton's 
.offer of hospitality. Holmes and I set off to Basket-^ 
ville Hall, leaving the naturalist to return alone. 
Looking back we saw the figure moving slowly 
away over the broad moor, and behind him that one 
^lack smudge on the silvered slope which showed 
T^here the man was lying who had come so borribljf 

to his end. 


Fixing thb Nsn 

WE'RE at close grips at last,** uH 
Holmes, as we walked together across 
the moon ** What a nerve the fellow 
las! How he pulled himself together in the face 
oi what must have been a paralyzing shock when he 
found that the wrong man had fallen a victim to his 
plot. I told you in I^ndon, Watson, and I tell you 
now again, that we have never had a foeman more 
worthy of our steel." 

" I am sorry that he has seen you." 

^ And so was I at fi^st. But there was no get* 
dng out of it." 

** What effect do you think it will have upon his 
plans, now that he knows you are here? " 

** It may cause him to be more cautious, or it may 
drive him to desperate measures at once. Like 
most clever criminals, he may be too confident in 
Ills own cleverness and imagine that he has com» 
pletely deceived us." 

** Why should we not arrest him at once? " 

*• My dear Watson, you were bom to be a man 
of action. Your instinct is always to do something 
energetic. But supposing, for argument's sake, 
tbdt we had him arrested to-night, what on earth 



the better off should we be for that? We could 
prove nothing against him. There's the devilish 
cunning of it! If he were acting through a human 
agent we could get some evidence, but if we were 
to drag this great dog to the light of day it would 
not help us in putting a rope round the neck of its 

** Stu-ely we have a case.** 

•* Not a shadow of one — only surmise and con- 
jecture. We should be laughed out of court if we 
came with such a story and such evidence.** 

" There is Sir Charles's death.** 

** Found dead without a mark upon him. Yon 
and I know that he died of sheer fright, and we 
know also what frightiened him; but how are we to 
get twelve stolid jurymen to know it? What signs 
are there of a hound? Where are the marks of its 
feings? Of course, we know that a hound does not 
bite a dead body and that Sir Charles was dead be- 
fore ever the brute overtook him. But we have 
to prove all this, and we are not in a position to 
do it.** 

'*Well, then, to-night? •• 

** We are not much better off to-night. Again, 
there was no direct connection between the hound 
and the man's death. We never saw the hound. 
We heard it; but we could not prove that it was 
running upon this man's trail. There is a complete 
absence of motive. No, my dear fellow; we must 
sccoQcfle ourselves to the fact that we have no caM 


rizmo Tat wsTi 

•t present, and that it is worth otur while to 
any risk in order to establish one.** 

" And how do you propose to do so? * 

'* I have great hopes of what Mrs. Laura Lyons 
may do for us when the position of affairs is made 
clear to her. And I have my own plan as w^lL 
Sufficient for to-mono w is the evil thereof; but I 
hope before the day is past to have the upper hand 
at last/' 

I could draw nothing further from him, and he 
walked, lost in thought, as far as the BaskerviUe 

" Are you coming up? *^ 

^ Yes; I see no reason for further concealment 
But one last word, Watson. Say nothing of the 
hound to Sir Henry. Let him think that Selden's 
death was as Stapleton would have us believe. He 
will have a better nerve for the ordeal which he will 
have to undergo to-morrow, when he is engaged, 
if I remember your report aright, to dine with these 

•* And so am I.^ 

"Then you must excuse yourself and he must 
go alone. That will be easily arranged. And now, 
if we are too late for dinner, I think that we are 
both ready for our suppers." 

Sir Henry was more pleased than surprised to sec 
Sherlock Holmes, for he had for some days been 
expecting ttiat recent events would bring him down 
from London. He did raise his eyebrows, however^ 


when he found that my friend had neither any lug- 
gage nor any explanations for its absence. Be- 
tween us we soon supplied his wants, and then over 
a belated supper we explained to the baronet as 
much of our experience as it seemed desirable that 
he should know. But first I had the unpleasant 
duty of breaking the news to Barrymore and his 
wife. To him it may have been an unmitigated re- 
lief, but she wept bitterly in her apron. To all the 
world he was the man of violence, half animal and 
half demon; but to her he always remained the little 
wilful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had 
clung to her hand. Evil indeed is the man v/ho 
has not one woman to mourn him. 

" Tve been moping in the house all day since 
Watson went off in the morning," said the baronet. 
" I guess I should have some credit, for I have kept 
my promise. If I hadn't sworn not to go about 
alone I might have had a more lively evening, for I 
had a message from Stapleton asking me over 

" I have no doubt that you would have had a 
more lively evening," said Holmes, drily. " By the 
way, I don't suppose you appreciate that we have 
been mourning over you as having broken your 
neck? " 

Sir Henry opened his eyes. " How was that? " 

" This poor wretch was dressed in your clothes. 
I fear your servant who gave them to him may get 
into trouble with the police. 




" That is unlikely. There was no mark on any 
of them, as far as I know." 

" That's lucky for him — ^in fact, it's lucky for all 
of you, since you are all on the wrong side of the 
law in this matter. I am not sure that as a con- 
scientious detective my first duty is not to arrest 
the whole household. Watson's reports are most 
incriminating documents." 

" But how about the case? " asked the baronet 
" Have you made anything out of the tangle? I 
don't know that Watson and I are much the wiset 
since we came down." 

'' I think that I shall be in a position to make the 
situation rather more clear to you before long. It 
has been an exceedingly difficult and most compli- 
cated business. There are several points upon 
which we still want light — ^but it is coming all the 



We've had one experience, as Watson has no 
doubt told you. We heard the hound on the moor, 
lo I can swear that it is not all empty superstition. 
I had something to do with dogs when I was out 
West, and I know one when I hear one. If you can 
muzzle that one and put him on a chain I'll be ready 
to swear you are the greatest detective of all time." 
" I think I will muzzle him and chain him all 
right if you will give me your help." 

" Whatever you tell me to do I will do." 
"Very good; and I will ask you also to do it 
blindly, without always asking the reason." 



** Just as you like." 

** If you will do this I think the chances are that 
Dur little problem will soon be solved. I have no 
doubt " 

He stopped suddenly and stared fixedly up over 
my head into the ain The lamp beat upon his face. 
And so intent was it and so still that it might have 
been that of a clear-cut classical statue, a personifi** 
cation of alertness and expectation. 

" What is it? " we both cried. 

I could see as he looked down that he was re« 
pressing some internal emotion. His features were 
^till composed, but his eyes shone with amused ex- 

*' Excuse the admiration of a connoisseur/' said 
he, as he waved his hand towards the line of por- 
traits which covered the opposite wall. " Watson 
won't allow that I know anything of art, but that is 
mere jealousy, because our views upon the subject 
differ. Now, these are a really very fine series of 

" Well, I'm glad to hear you say so," said Sir 
Henry, glancing with some surprise at my friend. 
" I don't pretend to know much about these things, 
and I'd be a better judge of a horse or a steer than 
of a picture. I didn't know that you found time fcM* 
such things." 

" I know what is good when I see it, and I see 
it now. That's a Kneller, I'll swear, that lady in 
the blue silk over yonder, and the stout gentleman 



wtth the wig ought to be a Re)moIds. They arc all 
fetmily portraits, I presume? " 

" Every one." 

" Do you know the names? '* 

" Barrymore has been coaching me in them, and 
I think I can say my lessons fairly well." 

" Who is the gentleman with the telescope? " 

"That is Rear-Admiral Baskerville, who served 
under Rodney in the West Indies. Tht man with 
the blue coat and the roll of paper is Sir William 
Baskerville, who was Chairman of Committees of 
the House of Commons under Pitt." 

" And this Cavalier opposite to me — ^the one with 
the black velvet and the lace? " 

** Ah, you have a right to know about him. That 
is the cause of all the mischief, the wicked Hugo, 
who started the Hound of the Baskervilles. We're 
not likely to forget him." 

1 gazed with interest and some surprise upon the 

"Dear me!" said Holmes, "he seems a quiet, 
meek-mannered man enough, but I daresay that 
there was a lurking devil in his eyes. I had pict- 
vred him as a more robust and ruffianly person." 

" There's no doubt about the authenticity, for the 
name and the date, 1647, ^i^e on the back of the 


Holmes said little more, but the picture of the 
old roysterer seemed to have a fascination for him, 
and his eyes were continually fixed upon it during^ 



supper. It was not until later, when Sir Henry bad 
gone to his room, that I was able to follow the 
trend of his thoughts. He lecj me back into the 
banqueting-hall, his bedroom candle in his hand, 
and he held it up against the time-stained portrait 
on the wall. 

" Do you see anything there? " 

I looked at the broad plumed hat, the curling 
love-locks, the white lace collar, and the straight, 
severe face which was framed between them. It 
was not a brutal countenance, but it was prim, hard, 
and stern, with a firm-set, thin-lipped mouth, and 
a coldly intolerant eye. 

" Is it like anyone you know? " 

"There is something of Sir Henry about the 

"Just a suggestion, perhaps. But wait an in- 
stant!" He stood upon a chair, and holding up 
the light in his left hand he curved his right arm 
over the broad hat and round the long ringlets. 

" Good heavens ! " I cried, in amazement. 

The face of Stapleton had sprung out of the can- 

" Ha, you see it now. My eyes have been trained 
to examine faces and not their trimmings. It is the 
first quality of a criminal investigator that he should 
see through a disguise." 

" But this is marvellous. It might be his por* 

"Yes, it is an interesting instance of a throw- 



back, which appears to be both physical and spu> 
itual. A study of family portraits is enough to con- 
vert a man to the doctrine of reincarnation. The 
fellow is a Baskerville — that is evident." 
" With designs upon the succession." 
" Exactly. This chance of the picture has sup^ 
plied us with one of our most obvious missing links. 
We have him, Watson, we have him, and I dare 
swear that before to-morrow night he will be flut* 
tering in our net as helpless as one of his own hnU 
terflies. A pin, a cork, and a cord, and we add him 
to the Baker Street collection!" He burst into 
one of his rare fits of laughter as he turned away 
from the picture. I have not heard him laugh of' 
ten, and it has always boded ill to somebody. 

I was up betimes in the morning, but Holmei 
was afoot earlier still, for I saw him as I dressed 
coming up the drive. 

" Yes, we should have a full day to-day," he re- 
marked, and he rubbed his hands with the joy of 
action. " The nets are all in place, and the drag 
is about to begin. We'll know before the day is out 
whether we have caught our big, lean-jawed pike, 
or whether he has got through the meshes." 
" Have you been on the moor already? " 
" I have sent a report from Grimpen to Prince- 
town as to the death of Selden. I think I can 
promise that none of you will be troubled in the 
matter. And I have also communicated with my 
faithful Cartwright, who would certainly have pined 



away at the door of my hut, as a dog does at his 
master's grave, if I had not set his mind at rest about 
my safety." 

" What is the next move? " 

** To sec Sir Henry. Ah, here he is! " 
Good morning. Holmes," said the baronet 

You look like a general who is planning a battle 
with his chief of the staff." 

'* That is the exact situation. Watson was ask* 
ing for orders." 

" And so do I." 

"Very good. You are engaged, as I under-* 
stand, to dine with our friends the Stapletons to* 

" I hope that you will come also. They are very 
hospitable people, and I am sure that they would 
be very glad to see you." 

" I fear that Watson and I must go to London/' 

"To London?" 

"Yes, I think that we should be more useful 
there at the present juncture." 

The baronet's face perceptibly lengthened. 

" I hoped that you were going to see me through 
this business. The Hall and the moor are not very 
pleasant places when one is alone." 

" My dear fellow, you must trust me implicitly 
and do exactly what I tell you. You can tell your 
friends that we should have been happy to have 
come with you, but that urgent business required us 
to be in town. We hope very soon to return to 



Devonshire. Will you remember to give them that 
message? " 

** If you insist upon it." 

" There is no alternative, I assure you." 

I saw by the baronet's clouded brow that he was 
deeply hurt by what he regarded as our desertion. 

" When do you desire to go? " he asked, coldly. 

" Immediately after breakfast. We will drive in 
to Coombe Tracey, but Watson will leave his things 
as a pledge that he will come back to you. Wat- 
son, you will send a note to Stapleton to tell him 
that you regret that you cannot come." 

** I have a good mind to go to London with you,** 
said the baronet. "Why should I stay here alone?" 

" Because it is your post of duty. Because you 
gave me your word that you would do as you were 
told, and I tell you to stay." 

" All right, then, I'll stay." 

" One more direction 1 I wish you to drive tO 
Merripit House. Send back your trap, however, 
and let them know that you intend to walk home." 

" To walk across the moor? " 

" Yes." 

" But that is the very thing which you have so 
often cautioned me not to do." 

" This time you may do it with safety. If I had 
not every confidence in your nerve and courage I 
wouid not suggest it, but it is essential that you 
should do it." 

'' Then I will do it" 




" And as you value your life do not go across the 
moor in any direction save along the straight path 
which leads from Merripit House to the Grimpen 
Road, and is your natural way home." 

" I will do just what you say." 

" Very good. I should be glad to get away as 
soon after breakfast as possible, so as to reach Lon- 
don in the afternoon." 

I was much astounded by this programme, 
though I remembered that Holmes had said to Sta- 
pleton on the night before that his visit would 
terminate next day. It had not crossed my mind, 
however, that he would wish me to go with him, 
nor could I understand how we could both be ab- 
sent at a moment which he himself declared to be 
critical. There was nothing for it, however, but 
implicit obedience ; so we bade good-bye to our rue- 
ful friend, and a couple of hours afterwards we were 
at the station of Coombe Tracey and had dispatched 
the trap upon its return journey. A small boy was 
waiting upon the platform. 

" Any orders, sir? " 

"You will take this train to town, Cartwright. 
The moment you arrive yt)U will send a wire to Sir 
Henry Baskerville, in my name, to say that if he 
finds the pocket-book which I have dropped he is 
to send it by registered post to Baker Street." 

" Yes, sir." 

" And ask at the station office if there is a mes- 
sage for me." 



The boy returned with a telegram, which Holmes 
handed to me. It ran: " Wire received. Coming 
down with unsigned warrant. Arrive five-forty. — 

" That is in answer to mine of this morning. He 
is the best of the professionals, I think, and we may 
need his assistance. Now, Watson, I think that we 
cannot employ our time better than by calling upon 
your acquaintance, Mrs. Laura Lyons." 

His plan of campaign was beginning to be evi- 
dent. He would use the baronet in order to con- 
vince the Stapletons that we were really gone, while 
we should actually return at the instant when we 
were likely to be needed. That telegram from 
London, if mentioned by Sir Henry to the Staple- 
tons, must remove the last suspicions from their 
minds. Already I seemed to see our nets drawing 
closer round that lean-jawed pike. 

Mrs. Laura Lyons was in her office, and Sherlock 
Holmes opened his interview with a frankness and 
directness which considerably amazed her. 

" I am investigating the circumstances which at- 
tended the death of the late Sir Charles Basker- 
ville," said he. " My friend here, Dr. Watson, has 
informed me of what you have communicated, and 
also of what you have withheld in connection with 
that matter." 

What have I withheld? " she asked, defiantly. 
You have confessed that you asked Sir Charles 
to be at the gate at ten o'clock. We know that 



that was the place and hour of his death. You have ' 

withheld what the connection is between these 

" There is no connection." 

" In that case the coincidence must indeed be an 
extraordinary one. But I think that we shall suc- 
ceed in establishing a connection after all. I wish 
to be perfectly frank with you, Mrs. Lyons. We 
regard this case as one of murder, and the evidence 
may implicate not only your friend Mr. Stapleton^ 
but his wife as well." 

The lady sprang from her chair. 

" His wife! " she cried. 

"The fact is no longer a secret. The person 
who has passed for his sister is really his wife." 

Mrs. Lyons had resumed her seat. Her hands 
were grasping the arms of her chair, and I saw that 
the pink nails had turned white with the pressure 
of her grip. 

"r:Jis wife!" she said, again. "His wife! He 
is not a married man." 

Sherlock Holmes shrugged his shoulders. 

" Prove it to me! Prove it to me! And if you 
can do so 1 " The fierce flash of her eyes said 
more than any words. 

" I have come prepared to do so," said Holmes, 
drawing several papers from his pocket. " Here is 
a photograph of the couple taken in York four 
years ago. It is indorsed ' Mr. and Mrs. Vande- 
Icur/ but you will have no difficulty in recognising 



kmiy and her also, if you know her by sigHt. Here 
arc three written descriptions by trustworthy wit- 
nesses of Mr. and Mrs. Vandeleur, who at that time 
kept St. Oliver's private school. Read them, and 
see if you can doubt the identity of these people." 

She glanced at them, and then looked up at us 
with the set, rigid face of a desperate woman. 

" Mr. Holmes," she said, " this man had offered 
me marriage on condition that I could get a divorce 
from my husband. He has lied to me, the villain^ 
in every conceivable way. Not one word of truth 
has he ever told me. And why— why? I imag- 
ined that all was for my own sake. But now I see 
that I was never anything but a tool in his hands. 
Why should I preserve faith with him who never 
kept any with me? Why should I try to shield him 
from the consequences of his own wicked acts? 
Ask me what you fike, and there is nothing which 
I shall hold back. One thing I swear to you, and 
that is, that when I wrote the letter I never dreamed 
of any harm to the old gentleman, who had been 
my kindest friend." 

" I entirely believe you, madam," said Sherlock 
Holmes. "The recital of these events must h9 
very painful to you, and perhaps it will make it 
easier if I tell you what occurred, and you can check 
me if I make any material mistake. The sending 
of this letter was suggested to you by Stapleton? '' 

" He dictated it." 

^ I presume that the reason he gave was that jcm 



would receive help from Sir Charles for the legal 
expenses connected with your divorce? *' 

" Exactly." 

" And then after you had sent the letter he dis- 
suaded you from keeping the appointment? " 

" He told me that it would hurt his self-respect 
that any other man should find the money for such 
an object, and that though he was a poor man him* 
self he would devote his last penny to removing the 
obstacles which divided us." 

" He appears to be a very consistent character. 
And then you heard nothing until you read the re» 
ports of the death in the paper? " 

" No." 

" And he made you swear to say nothing about 
your appointment with Sir Charles? " 

" He did. He said that the death was a very 
mysterious one, and that I should certainly be sus- 
pected if the facts came out. He frightened me 
into remaining silent." 

" Quite so. But you had your suspicions? " 

She hesitated and looked down. 

" I knew him," she said. " But if he had kept 
faith with me I should always have done so with 

" I think that on the whole you have had a fortu-* 
nate escape," said Sherlock Holmes. *' You have 
had him in your power and he knew it, and yet you 
are alive. You have been walking for some months 
very near to the edge of a precipice. We must 



wish you good morning now, Mrs Lyons, and it is 
probable that you will very shortly hear from us 

" Our case becomes rounded off, and difficulty 
after difficulty thins away in front of us," said 
Holmes, as we stood waiting for the arrival of the 
express from town. *' I shall soon be in the posi- 
tion of being able to put into a single connected 
narrative one of the most singular and sensational 
crimes of modem times. Students of criminology 
will remember the analogous incidents in Godno, 
in Little Russia, in the year '66, and of course there 
are the Anderson murders in North Carolina, but 
this case possesses some features which are entirely 
its own. Even now we have no clear case against 
this very wily man. But I shall be very much sur- 
prised if it is not clear enough before we go to bed 
this night." 

The London express came roaring into the sta- 
tion, and a small, wiry bulldog of a man had sprung 
from a first-class carriage. We all three shook 
hands, and I saw at once from the reverential way 
in which Lestrade gazed at my companion that he 
had learned a good deal since the days when they 
had first worked together. I could well remember 
the scorn which the theories of the reasoner used 
then to excite in the practical man. 
Anything good? " he asked. 
The biggest thing for years," said Holmes. 
•* We have two hours before we need think of start- 



ing. I think we might employ it in getting some 
dinner, and then, Lestrade, we will take the London 
fog out of your throat by giving you a breath of 
the pure night air of Dartmoor. Never been there? 
Ah, well, I don't suppose you will forget your first 



The Hound of the Baskervillss 

ONE of Sherlock Holmes's defects — ^if, in- 
deed, one may call it a defect — ^was that he 
was exceedingly loth to communicate his 
full plans to any other person until the instant of 
their fulfilment. Partly it came no doubt from his 
own masterful nature, which loved to dominate and 
surprise those who were around him. Partly also 
from his professional caution, which urged him 
never to take any chances. The result, however, 
was very trying for those who were acting as his 
agents and assistants. I had often suffered under 
it, but never more so than during that long drive in 
the darkness. The great ordeal was in front of us; 
at last we were about to make our final effort, and 
yet Holmes had said nothing, and I could only sur- 
mise what his course of action would be. My 
nerves thrilled with anticipation when at last the 
cold wind upon our faces and the dark, void spaces 
on either side of the narrow road told me that wf 
were back upon the moor once again. Every stridt 
of the horses and every turn of the wheels was tak- 
ing us nearer to our supreme adventure. 

Our conversation was hampered by the presence 
of the driver of the hired wagonette, so that we were 


forced to talk of trivial matters when our nerves 
were tense with emotion and anticipation. It was a 
relief to me, after that unnatural restraint, when we 
at last passed Frankland's house and knew that we 
were drawing near to the Hall and to the scene of 
action. We did not drive up to the door, but got 
down near the gate of the avenue. The wagonette 
was paid off and ordered to return to Coombc 
Tracey forthwith, while we started to walk to Mer- 
ripit House. 

" Are you armed, Lestrade? ^' 

The little -"^tective smiled. 

"As long as i have my trousers I have a hip^ 
pocket, and as long as I have my hip-pocket I have 
something in it." 

" Good ! My friend and I are also ready for 

"You're mighty close about this affair, Mr. 
Holmes. What's the game now? " 

" A waiting game." 

" My word, it does not seem a very cheerful 
place," said the detective, with a shiver, glancing 
round him at the gloomy slopes of the hill and 
at the huge lake of fog which lay over the Grim- 
pen Mire. " I see the lights of a house ahead of 


" That is Merripit House and the end of our jour- 
ney. I must request you to walk on tiptoe and 
not to talk above a whisper." 

We moved cautiously along the track as if we 

218 ' 

The steps grew louder, and through the fog, as 

through a curtain, there stepped the man 

whom we were awaiting. 


were bound for the house, but Holmes halted us 
when we were about two hundred yards from it. 

" This will do," said he. " These rocks upon the 
right make an admirable screen." 

" We are to wait here? " 

" \ es, we shall make our little ambush here. Get 
into this hollow, Lestfade. You have been inside 
the house, have you not, Watson? Can you tell 
the position of the rooms? What are those latticed 
windows at this end? " 

" I think they are the kitchen windows." 

" And the one beyond, which shines so bright- 

" That is certainly the dining-room." 

" The blinds are up. You know the lie of the 
land best. Creep forward quietly and see what they 
are doing — ^but for heaven's sake don't let them 
know that they are watched ! " 

I tiptoed down the path and stooped behind the 
low wall which surrounded the stunted orchard. 
Creeping in its shadow I reached a point whence I 
could look straight through the uncurtained win- 

There were only two men in the room, Sir Henry 
and Stapleton. They sat with their profiles tow- 
ards me on either side of the round table. Both of 
them were smoking cigars, and coffee and wine were 
in front of them. Stapleton was talking with ani* 
mation, but the baronet looked pale and distrait. 
Perhaps the thought of that lonely walk across the 



ill-omened moor was weighing heavily upon his 

As I watched them Stapleton rose and left the 
room, while Sir Henry filled his glass again and 
leaned back in his chair, puffing at his cigan I 
heard the creak of a door and the crisp sound of 
boots upon gravel. The steps passed along the 
path on the other side of the wall under which I 
crouched. Looking over, I saw the naturalist 
pause at the door of an out-house in the comer of 
the orchard. A key turned Jn a lock, and as he 
passed in there was a curious scuffling noise from 
within. He was only a minute or so inside, and 
then I heard the key turn once more and he passed 
me and re-entered the house^ I saw him rejoin his 
guest, and I crept quietly back to where my com- 
panions were waiting to tell them what I had 

" You say, Watson, that the lady is not there? '* 
Holmes asked, when I had finished my report. 

" No." 

" Where can she be, then, since there is no light 
in any other room except the kitchen? " 

" I cannot think where she is." 

I have said that over the great Grimpen Mire 
there hung a dense, white fog. It was drifting 
slowly in our direction and banked itself up like a 
wall on that side of us, low, but thick and well de- 
fined. The moon shone on it, and it looked like a 
great shimmering icefield, with the heads of the 



distant tors as rocks borne upon its surface. 
Holmes*s face was turned towards it, and he mut- 
tered impatiently as he watched its sluggish drift. 

" It's moving towards us, Watson." 

" Is that serious? '' 

" Very serious, indeed — ^the one thing upon earth 
which could have disarranged my plans. He can't 
be very long, now. It is alrtady ten o'clock. Our 
success and even his life may depend upon his com- 
ing out before the fog is /)ver the path." 

The night was ^ear and fi'ne above us. The 
stars shone cold And bright, while a half-moon 
bathed the ivhole scene in a soft, uncertain light, 
fieiore us lay the dark bulk of the house, its serrated 
roof and bristling chimneys hard outlined against 
the silver-spangled sky. Broad bars of golden light 
from the lower windows stretched across the 
orchard and the moor. One of them was suddenly 
shut oflf. The servants had left the kitchen. There 
only remained the lamp in the dining-room where 
the two men, the murderous host and the uncon* 
scious guest, still chatted over their cigars. 

Every minute that white woolly plain which cov- 
ered one half of the moor was drifting closer and 
closer to the house. Already the first thin wisps of 
it were curling across the golden square of the 
lighted window. The farther wall of the orchard 
was already invisible, and the trees were standing 
out of a swirl of white vapour. As we watched it 
Uic fog-wreaths came crawling round both cometi 



of the house and rolled slowly into one dense bank, 
on which the upper floor and the roof floated like 
a strange ship upon a shadowy sea. Holmes struck 
his hand passionately upon the rock in front of us, 
and stamped his feet in his impatience. 

" If he isn't out in a quarter of an hour the path 
will be covered. In half an hour we won't be able 
to see our hands in front of us." 

" Shall we move farther back upon higher 

" Yes, I think it would be as well." 

So as the fog-bank flowed onwards we fell back 
before it until we were half a mile from the house, 
and still that dense white sea, with the moon silver* 
ing its upper edge, swept slowly and inexorably on. 

"We are going too far," said Holmes. "Wo 
dare not take the chance of his being overtaken be- 
fore he can reach us. At all costs we must hold 
our ground where we are." He dropped on his 
knees and clapped his ear to the ground. " Thank 
God, I think that I hear him coming." 

A sound of quick steps broke the silence of the 
moor. Crouching among the stones we stared in- 
tently at the silver-tipped bank in front of us. The 
steps grew louder, and through the fog, as through 
a curtain, there stepped the man whom we were 
awaiting. He looked round him in surprise as he 
emerged into the clear, star-lit night. Then he 
came swiftly along the path, passed close to where 
W€ lay, and went on up the long slope behind uSr 



As he walked he glanced continually over either 
shoulder, like a man who is ill at ease. 

" Hist! " cried Holmes, and I heard the sharp 
click of a cocking pistol. " Look out I It's com- 

There was a thin, crisp, continuous patter from 
somewhere in the heart of that crawling bank. The 
cloud was within fifty yards of where we lay, and 
we glared at it, all three, uncertain what horror 
was about to break from the heart of it. I was at 
Holmes's elbow, and I glanced for an instant at his 
face. It was pale and exultant, his eyes shining 
brightly in the moonlight. But suddenly they 
started forward in a rigid, fixed stare, and his lips 
parted in amazement. At the same instant Le- 
strade gave a yell of terror and threw himself face 
downwards upon the ground. I sprang to my feetf 
my inert hand grasping my pistol, my mind par- 
alyzed by the dreadful shape which had sprung out 
upon us from the shadows of the fog. A hound it 
was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such 
a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst 
from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smoul- 
dering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap 
were outlined in flickering flame. Never in the de- 
Krious dream of a disordered brain could anything 
more savage, more appalling, more hellish be con- 
ceived than that dark form and savage face which 
broke upon us out of the wall of fog. 

With long bounds the huge black creature was 



leaping down the track, following hard upon the 
footsteps of our friend. So paralyzed were we by 
the apparition that we allowed him to pass before 
we had recovered our nerve. Then Holmes and I 
both fired together, and the creature gave a hideous 
howl, which showed that one at least had hit him. 
He did not pause, however, but bounded onwards. 
Far away on the path we saw Sir Henry looking 
back, his face white in the moonlight, his hands 
raised in horror, glaring helplessly at the frightful 
thing which was hunting him down. ^ 

But that cry of pain from the hound had blown 
all our fears to the winds. If he was vulnerable he 
was mortal, and if we could wound him we could 
kill him. Never have I seen a man run as Holmes 
ran that night. I am reckoned fleet of foot, but he 
outpaced me as much as I outpaced the little pro- 
fessional. In front of us as we flew up the track 
we heard scream after scream from Sir Henry and 
the deep roar of the hound. • I was in time to see 
the beast spring upon its victim, hurl him to the 
ground, and worry at his throat. But the next in- 
stant Holmes had emptied five barrels of his re- 
volver into the creature's flank. With a last howl 
of agony and a vicious snap in the air, it rolled upon 
its back, four feet pawing furiously, and then fell 
limp upon its side. I stooped, panting, and pressed 
my pistol to the dreadful, shimmering head, but it 
was useless to press the trigger. The giant hound 
was dead. 




Sir Henry lay insensible where he had fallen. 
We tore away his collar, and Holmes breathed a 
prayer of gratitude when we saw that there was no 
sign of a wound and that the rescue had been in 
time. Already our friend's eyelids shivered and he 
made a feeble effort to move. Lestrade thrust his 
brandy-flask between the baronet's teeth, and two 
frightened eyes were looking up at us. 

"My God!" he whispered. "What was it? 
What, in Heaven's name, was it? " 

It's dead, whatever it is," said Holmes. 
We've laid the family ghost once and for ever." 
In mere size and strength it was a terrible creat- 
ure which was lying stretched before us. It was 
not a pure bloodhound and it was not a pure 
mastiff; but it appeared to be a combination of the ^ 
two— gaunt, savage, and as large as a small lioness. 
Even now, in the stillness of death, the huge jaws 
seemed to be dripping with a bluish flame and the 
small, deep-set, cruel eyes were ringed with fire. I 
placed my hand upon the glowing muzzle, and as 
I held them up my own fingers smouldered and 
gleamed in the darkness. 

Phosphorus," I said. 

A cunning preparation of it," said Holmes, 
sniffing at the dead animal. "There is no smell 
which might have interfered with his power of 
scent. We owe you a deep apology. Sir Henry, 
for having exposed you to this fright. I was pre- 
pared for a hound, but not for such a creature as 



this. And the fog gave us little time to receive 

" You have saved my life." 

" Having first endangered it. Are you strong 
enough to stand ? " 

" Give me another mouthful of that brandy and 
I shall be ready for anything. So! Now, if you 
will help me up. What do you propose to do? " 

" To leave you here. You are not fit for further 
adventures to-night. If you will wait, one or other 
of us will go back with you to the Hall." 

He tried to stagger to his feet; but he was still 
ghastly pale and trembling in every limb. We 
helped him to a rock, where he sat shivering with 
his face buried in his hands. 

" We must leave you now," said Holmes, " The 
rest of our work must be done, and every moment 
is of importance. We have our case, and now we 
only want our man. 

'' It's a thousand to one against our finding him 
at the house," he continued, as we retraced our 
steps swiftly down the path. "Those shots must 
have told him that the game was up." 

" We were some distance off, and this fog may 
have deadened them." 

" He followed the hound to call him off— of that 
you may be certain. No, no, he's gone by this 
time ! But we'll search the house and make sure." 

The front door Was open, so we rushed in and 
hurried from room to room, to the amazement of a 



doddering old manservant, who met us in the 
passage. There was no light save in the dining- 
room, but Holmes caught up the lamp and left no 
comer of the house unexplored. No sign could 
we see of the man whom we were chasing. On the 
upper floor, however, one of the bedroom doors was 

" There's someone in here," cried Lestrade. " I 
can hear a movement. Open this door I " 

A faint moaning and rustling came from within. 
Holmes struck the door just over the lock with the 
flat of his foot and it flew open. Pistol in hand, we 
all three rushed into the room. 

But. there was no sign within it of that desperate 
and defiant villain whom we expected to see. In- 
stead we were faced by an object so strange and so 
unexpected that we stood for a moment staring at 
it in amazement. 

The room had been fashioned into a small mu- 
seum, and the walls were lined by a number of 
glass-topped cases full of that collection of butter- 
flies and moths the formation of which had been 
the relaxation of this complex and dangerous man. 
In the centre of this room there was an upright 
beam, which had been placed at some period as a 
support for the old worm-eaten balk of timber 
which spanned the roof. To this post a figure was 
tied, so swathed and muffled in the sheets which 
had been used to secure it that one could not for 
the moment tell whether it was that of a man or a 



woman. One towel passed round the throat and 
was secured at the back of the pillar. Another cov- 
ered the lower part of the face, and over it two dark 
eyes— eyes full of grief and shame and a dreadful 
questioning — stared back at us. In a minute we 
had torn of? the gag, unswathed the bonds, and 
Mrs. Stapleton sank upon the floor in front of us. 
As her beautiful head fell upon her chest I saw the 
clear red weal of a whiplash across her neck. 

" The brute ! " cried Holmes. " Here, Lestrade, 
your brandy-bottle! Put her in the chair! She 
has fainted from ill-usage and exhaustion.'' 

She opened her eyes again. 

" Is he safe? " she asked. " Has he escaped? " 

" He cannot escape us, madam." 

" No, no, I did not mean my husband. Sir 
Henry? Is he safe? " 

'' Yes." 

"And the hound?" 

" It is dead." 

She gave a long sigh of satisfaction. 

"Thank God! Thank God! Oh, this viUain! 
See how he has treated me ! " She shot her arms 
out from her sleeves, and we saw with horror that 
they were all mottled with bruises. " But this is 
nothing — nothing ! It is my mind and soul that he 
has tortured and defiled. I could endure it all, ill- 
usage, solitude, a life of deception, everything, as 
long as I could still cling to the hope that I had 
his love, but now I know that in this also I have 



been his dupe and his tool." She broke into pas- 
sionate sobbing as she spoke. 

" You bear him no good will, madam," said 
Holmes. " Tell us then where we shall find him. 
If you have ever aided him in evil, help us now and 
so atone." 

" There is but one place where he can have fled," 
she answered. "There is an old tin mine on an 
island in the heart of the Mire. It was there that 
he kept his hound and there also he had made 
preparations so that he might have a refuge. That 
is where he would fly." 

The fog-bank lay like white wool against the win- 
dow. Holmes held the lamp towards it. 

" See," said he. " No one could find his way 
into the Grimpen Mire to-night." 

She laughed and clapped her hands. Her eyes 
and teeth gleamed with fierce merriment. 

" He may find his way in, but never out," she 
cried. " How can he see the guiding wands to- 
night? We planted them together, he and I, to 
mark the pathway through the mire. Oh, if I 
could only have plucked them out to-day. Then 
indeed you would have had him at your mercy! " 

It wae evident to us that all pursuit was in vain 
until the fog had lifted. Meanwhile we left Le- 
strade in possession of the house while Holmes and 
I went back with the baronet to Baskerville Halt 
The story of the Stapletons could no longer be with- 
held from him, but he took the blow bravely when 



he learned the truth about the woman whom he had 
loved. But the shock of the night's adventures 
had shattered his nerves, and before morning he 
lay delirious in a high fever, under the care of Dn 
Mortimer. The two of them were destined to 
travel together round the world before Sir Henry 
had become once more the hale, hearty man that 
he had been before he became master of that ill- 
omened estate. 

And now I come rapidly to the conclusion of this 
singular narrative, in which I have tried to make 
the reader share those dark fears and vague sur- 
mises which clouded our lives so long, and ended 
in so tragic a manner. On the morning after the 
death of the hound the fog had lifted and we were 
guided by Mrs. Stapleton to the point where they 
had found a pathway through the bog. It helped 
us to realize the horror of this woman's life when 
we saw the eagerness and joy with which she laid 
us on her husband's track. We left her standing 
upon the thin peninsula of firm, peaty soil which 
tapered out into the widespread bog. From the 
end of it a small wand planted here and there 
showed where the path zig-zagged from tuft to tuft 
of rushes among those green-scummed pits and foul 
quagmires which barred the way to the stranger. 
Rank reeds and lush, slimy water-plants sent an 
odour of decay and a heavy miasmatic vapour into 
our faces^ while a false step plunged us more thaa 



once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, 
which shook for yards in soft undulations around 
our feet. Its tenacious grip plucked at our heels 
as we walked, and when we sank into it it was as 
if some malignant hand was tugging us down into 
those obscene depths, so grim and purposeful was 
the clutch in which it held us. Once only we saw 
a trace that someone had passed that perilous way 
before us. From amid a tuft of cotton-grass which 
bore it up out of the slime some dark thing was 
projecting. Holmes sank to his waist as he stepped 
from the path to seize it, and had we not been there 
V) drag him out he could never have set his foot 
tipon firm land again. He held an old black boot 
in the air. " Meyers, Toronto," wgs printed on the 
leather inside. 

" It is worth a mud bath," said he. " It is our 
friend Sir Henry's missing boot." 

" Thrown there by Stapleton in his flight.'* 

" Exactly. He retained it in his hand after using 
it to set the hound upon the track. He fled when 
he knew the game was up, still clutching it. And 
he hurled it away at this point of his flight. We 
know at least that he came so far in safety." 

But more than that we were never destined to 
know, though there was much which we n^ight sur- 
mise. There was no chance of finding footsteps in 
the mire, for the rising mud oozed swiftly in upon 
them, but as we at last reached firmer ground be- 
yond the morass we all looked eagerly for them. 



But no slightest sign of them ever met our eyes. 
If the earth told a true story, then Stapleton never 
reached that island of refuge towards which ho 
struggled through the fog upon that last night. 
Somewhere in the heart of the great Grimpen Mire, 
down in the foul slime of the huge morass which 
had sucked him in, this cold and cruel-hearted man 
is for ever buried. 

Many traces we found of him in the bog-girt isU 
and where he had hid his savage ally. A huge driv- 
ing-wheel and a shaft half-filled with rubbish showed 
the position of an abandoned mine. Beside it were 
the crumbling remains of the cottages of the miners, 
driven away no doubt by the foul reek of the sur* 
rounding swamp. In one of these a staple and 
chain with a quantity of gnawed bones showed 
where the animal had been confined. A skeleton 
with a tangle of brown hair adhering to it lay among 
the debris. 

" A dog ! " said Holmes. " By Jove, a curly- 
haired spaniel. Poor Mortimer will never see his 
pet again. Well, I do not know that this place con- 
tains any secret which we have not already fath- 
omed. He could hide his hound, but he could not 
hush its voice, and hence came those cries which 
even in daylight were not pleasant to hear. On an 
emergency he could keep the hound in the out- 
house at Merripit, but it was always a risk, and it 
was only on the supreme day, which he regarded 
as the end of all his efforts, that he dared do it. 



This paste in the tin is no doubt the luminous mixt- 
ure with which the creature was daubed. It was 
suggested, of course, by the story of the family hell- 
hound, and by the desire to frighten old Sir Charles 
to death. No wonder the poor devil of a convict 
ran and screamed, even as our friend did, and as 
we ourselves might have done, when he saw such 
a creature bounding through the darkness of the 
moor upon his track. It was a cunning device, for, 
apart from the chance of driving your victim to his 
death, what peasant would venture to inquire too 
closely into such a creature should he get sight of 
it, as many have done, upon the moor? I said it 
in London, Watson, and I say it again now, that 
never yet have we helped to hunt down a more dan- 
gerous man than he who is lying yonder" — ^he 
swept his long arm towards the huge mottled ex- 
panse of green-splotched bog which stretched away 
until it merged into the russet slopes of the moor. 


A Retrospection 

IT was the end of November, and Holmes and 
I sat, upon a raw and foggy night, on either 
side of a blazing fire in our sitting-room in 
Baker Street. Since the tragic upshot of our visit 
to Devonshire he had been engaged in two affairs 
of the utmost importance, in the first of which he 
had exposed the atrocious conduct of Colonel Up- 
wood in connection with the famous card scandal 
of the Nonpareil Club, while in the second he had 
defended the unfortunate Mme. Montpensier from 
the charge of murder which hung over her in con- 
nection with the death of her step-daughter. Mile. 
Carere, the young lady who, as it will be remem- 
bered, was found six months later alive and married 
in New York. My friend was in excellent spirits 
over the success which had attended a succession of 
difficult and important cases, so that I was able to 
induce him to discuss the details of the Baskerville 
mystery. I had waited patiently for the opportu- 
nity, for I was aware that he would never permit 
cases to overlap, and that his clear and logical mind 
would not be drawn from its present work to dwell 
upon memories of the past. Sir Henry and Dr. 
Mortimer were, however, in London, on their way 




to that long voyage which had been recommended 
for the restoration of his shattered nerves. They 
had called upon us that very afternoon, so that it 
was natural that the subject should come up for 

"The whole course of events," said Holmes, 
" from the point of view of the man who called him- 
self Stapleton was simple and direct, although to 
us, who had no means in the beginning of knowing 
the motives of his actions and could only learn part 
of the facts, it all appeared exceedingly complex. 
I have had the advantage of two conversations with 
Mrs. Stapleton, and the case has now been so en- 
tirely cleared up that I am not aware that there is 
anything which has remained a secret to us. You 
will find a few notes upon the matter uhder the 
heading B in my indexed list of cases." 

" Perhaps you would kindly give me a sketch of 
the course of events from memory." 

" Certainly, though I cannot guarantee that I 
carry all the facts in my mind. Intense mental con- 
centration has a curious way of blotting out what 
has passed. The barrister who has his case at his 
fingers' end, and is able to argue with an expert 
upon his own subject, finds that a week or two of 
the courts will drive it all out of his head once more. 
So each of my cases displaces the last, and Mile. 
Carere has blurred my recollection of Baskerville 
Hall. To-morrow some other little problem may 
be submitted to my notice which will in turn dis- 



possess the fair French lady and the infamous Up- 
wood. So far as the case of the Hound goes, how- 
ever, I will give you the course of events as nearly 
as I can, and you will suggest anything which I may 
have forgotten. 

" My inquiries show beyond all question that the 
family portrait did not lie, and that this fellow was 
indeed a Baskerville. He was a son of that Rodger 
Baskerville, the younger brother of Sir Charles, who 
fled with a sinister reputation to South America* 
where he was said to have died unmarried. He did^ 
as a matter of fact, marry, and had one child, thif 
fellow, whose real name is the same as his father* 
He married Beryl Gargia, one of the beauties of 
Costa Rica, and, having purloined a considerable 
sum of public money, he changed his name to Van- 
deleur and fled to England, where he established a 
school in the east of Yorkshire. His reason for at" 
tempting this special line of business was that he 
had struck up an acquaintance with a consumptive 
tutor upon the voyage home, and that he had used 
this man's ability to make the undertaking a suc- 
cess. Fraser, the tutor, died, however, and the 
school which had begun well sank from disrepute 
into infamy. The Vandeleurs found it convenient 
to change their name to Stapleton, and he brought 
the remains of his fortune, his schemes for the 
future, and his taste for entomology to the south of 
England. I learn at the British Museum that he 
was a recognised authority upon the subject^ and 




that the name of Vandeleur has been permanently 
attached to a certain moth which he had, in his 
Yorkshire days, been the first to describe. 

" We now come to that portion of his life which 
has proved to be of such intense interest to us. The 
fellow had evidently made inquiry, and found that 
only two lives intervened between him and a valu- 
able estate. When he went to Devonshire his plans 
were, I believe, exceedingly hazy, but that he meant 
mischief from the first is evident from the way in 
which he took his wife with him ?n the character of 
his sister. The idea of using her as a decoy was 
clearly already in his mind, though he may not have 
been certain how the details of his plot were to be 
arranged. He meant in the end to have the es- 
tate, and he was ready to use any tool or run 
any risk for that end. His first act was to es- 
tablish himself as near to his ancestral home as 
he could, and his second was to cultivate a friend- 
ship with Sir Charles Baskerville and with the 

" The baronet himself told him about the family 
hound, and so prepared the way for his own death. 
Stapleton, as I will continue to call him, knew that 
the old man's heart was weak and that a shock 
would kill him. So much he had learned from Dr, 
Mortimer. He had heard also that Sir Charles was 
superstitious and had taken this grim legend very 
seriously. His ingenious mind instantly suggested 
a way by which the baronet could be done to deatil| 



and yet it would be hardly possible to bring home 
the guilt to the real murderer. 

" Having conceived the idea he proceeded to 
carry it out with considerable finesse. An ordinary 
schemer would have been content to jjvork with a 
savage hound. The use of artificial means to make 
the creature diabolical was a flash of genius upon 
his part. The dog he bought in London from Ross 
and Mangles, the dealers in Fulham Road. It was 
the strongest and most savage in their possession. 
He brought it down by the North Devon line and 
walked a great distance over the moor so as to get 
it home without exciting any remarks. He had al- 
ready on his insect hunts learned to penetrate the 
Grimpen Mire, and so had found a safe hiding-place 
for the creature. Here he kennelled it and waited 
his chance. 

" But it was some time coming. The old gentle- 
man could not be decoyed outside of his grounds 
at night. Several times Stapleton lurked about 
with his hound, but without avail. It was during 
these fruitless quests that he, or rather his ally, was 
seen by peasants, and that the legend of the demon 
dog received a new confirmation. He had hoped 
that his wife might lure Sir Charles to his ruin, but 
here she proved unexpectedly independent. She 
would not endeavour to entangle the old gentleman 
in a sentimental attachment which might deliver 
him over to his enemy. Threats and even, I am 
•orry to say, blows refused to move her. She 



would have nothing to do with it, and for a time 
Stapleton was at a deadlock. 

" He found a way out of his difficulties through 
the chance that Sir Charles, who had conceived a 
friendship for him, made him the minister of his 
charity in the case of this unfortunate woman, Mrs. 
Laura Lyons. By representing himself as a single 
man he acquired complete influence over her, and 
he gave her to understand that in the event of her 
obtaining a divorce from her husband he would 
marry her. His plans were suddenly brought to a 
head by his knowledge that Sir Charles was about 
to leave the Hall on the advice of Dr. Mortimer, 
with whose opinion he himself pretended to coin- 
cide. He must act at once, or his victim might get 
beyond his power. He therefore put pressure upon 
Mrs. Lyons to write this letter, imploring the old 
man to give her an interview on the evening before 
his departure for London. He then, by a specious 
argument, prevented her from going, and so had 
the chance for which he had waited. 

" Driving back in the evening from Coombe 
Tracey he was in time to get his hound, to treat it 
with his infernal paint, and to bring the beast round 
to the gate at which he had reason to expect that 
he would find the old gentleman waiting. The 
dog, incited by its master, sprang over the wicket- 
gate and pursued the unfortunate baronet, who fled 
screaming down the Yew Alley. In that gloomy 
tunnel it must indeed have been a dreadful sight to 



see that huge black creature^ with its flaming jaws 
and blazing eyes, bounding after its victim. He 
fell dead at the end of the alley from heart disease 
and terror. The hound had kept upon the grassy 
border while the baronet had run down the path, 
so that no track but the man's was visible. On 
seeing him lying still the creature had probably ap- 
proached to sniff at him, but finding him dead had 
turned away again. It was then that it left the 
print which was actually observed by Dr. Mortimer. 
The hound was called off and hurried away to its 
lair in the Grimpen Mire, and a mystery was left 
which puzzled the authorities, alarmed the country- 
side, and finally brought the case within the scope 
of our observation* 

" So much for the death of Sir Charles Basker- 
fille. You perceive the devilish cunning of it, for 
really it would be almost impossible to make a case 
against the real murderer. His only accomplice 
was one who could never give him away, and the 
grotesque, inconceivable nature of the device only 
served to make it more effective. Both of the 
women concerned in the case, Mrs. Stapleton and 
Mrs. Laura Lyons, were left with a strong suspicion 
against Stapleton. Mrs. Stapleton knew that he 
had designs upon the old man, and also of the ex- 
istence of the hound. Mrs. Lyons knew neither of 
these things, but had been impressed by the death 
occurring at the time of an uncancelled appointment 
which was only known to him. However, both of 



them were under his influence, and he had nothing 
to fear from them. The first half of his task was 
successfully accomplished^ but the more difficult 
still remained. 

'' It is possible that Stapleton did not know of 
the existence of an hdr in Canada. In any case he 
would very soon learn it from, his friend Dr. 'Morti- 
mer, and he was told Jby the latter all details about 
the arrival of Henry Baskerville. Stapleton's first 
idea was that this young stranger from Canada 
might possibly be done to death in London with- 
out coming down to Devonshire at all. He dis- 
trusted his wife ever since she had refused to help 
him in laying a trap for the old man, and he dared 
not leave her long out of his sight for fear he should 
lose his influence over her. It was for this reason 
that he took her to London with him. They 
lodged, I find, at the Mexborough Private Hotd» 
in Craven Street, which was actually one of those 
called upon by my agent in search of evidence. 
Here he kept his wife imprisoned in her room while 
he, disguised in a beard, followed Dr. Mortimer to 
Baker Street and afterwards to the station iand to 
the Northumberland Hotel. His wife had some 
inkling of his plans ; but she had such a fear of her 
husband — ^a fear founded upon brutal ill-treatment 
—■that she dare not write to warn the man whom 
she knew to be in danger. If the letter should fall 
into Stapleton's hands her own life would not be 
tife. Eventually, as we know^ she adopted the 



pedient of cutting out the words which would form 
the message, and addressing the letter in a disguised 
hand. It reached the baronet, and gave him the 
first warning of his danger. 

" It was very essential for Stapleton to get some 
article of Sir Henry's attire so that, in case he was 
driven to use the dog, he might always have the 
means of setting him upon his track. With char^ 
acteristic promptness and audacity he set about this 
at once, and we cannot doubt that the boots or 
chambermaid of the hotel was well bribed to help 
him in his design. By chance, however, the first 
boot which was procured for him was a new one 
and, therefore, useless for his purpose. He then 
had it returned and obtained another — a most in- 
structive incident, since it proved conclusively to my 
mind that we were dealing with a real hound, as no 
other supposition could explain this anxiety to ob- 
tain an old boot and this indifference to a new one. 
The more outre and grotesque an incident is the 
more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the 
very point which appears to complicate a case is, 
when duly considered and scientifically handled, the 
one which is most likely to elucidate it. 

"Then we had the visit from our friends next 
morning, shadowed always by Stapleton in the cab. 
From his knowledge of our rooms and of my ap- 
pearance, as well as from his general conduct, I am 
inclined to think that Stapleton's career of crime 
lias been by no means limited to this single Basker> 



vHIe affair. It is suggestive that during the last 
three years there have been four considerable bur- 
glaries in the West Country, for none of which was 
any criminal ever arrested. The last of these, at 
Folkestone Court, in May, was remarkable for the 
coU-blooded pistoling of the page, who surprised 
the masked and solitary burglar. I cannot doubt 
that Stapleton recruited his waning resources in 
this fashion, and that for years he has been a des^ 
perate and dangerous man. 

•* We had an example of his readiness of resource 
that morning when he got away from us so success- 
fully, and also of his audacity in sending back my 
own name to me through the cabman. From that 
moment he understood that I had taken over the 
case in London, and that therefore there was no 
chance for him there. He returned to Dartmoor 
and awaited the arrival of the baronet." 

" One moment! " said I. " You have, no doubt, 
described the sequence of events correctly, but there 
is one point which you have left unexplained. What 
became of the hound when its master was in Lon- 
don? " 

" I have given some attention to this matter and 
it is undoubtedly of importance. There can be no 
question that Stapleton had a confidant, though it 
is unlikely that he ever placed himself in his power 
by sharing all his plans with him. There was an 
old manservant at Merripit House, whose name was 
Anthony. His connection with the Stapletons cac 



be traced for several years, as far back as the school- 
mastering days, so that he must have been aware 
that his master and mistress were really husband 
and wife. This man has disappeared and has es- 
caped from the country. It is suggestive that 
Anthony is not a common name in England, while 
Antonio is so in all Spanish or Spanish-American 
countries. The man, like Mrs. Stapleton herself, 
spoke good English, but with a curious lisping ac- 
cent. I have myself seen this old man cross the 
Grimpen Mire by the path which Stapleton had 
marked out. It is very probable, therefore, that in 
the absence of his master it was he who cared for 
the houhd, though he may never have known the 
purpose for which the beast was used. 

" The Stapletons then went down to Devonshfre, 
whither they were soon followed by Sir Henry and 
you. One word now as to how I stood myself .at 
that time. It may possibly recur to your memory 
that when I examined the paper upon which the 
printed words were fastened I made a close inspec- 
tion for the water-mark. In doing so I held it 
within a few inches of my eyes, and was conscious 
of a faint smell of the scent known as white jessa- 
mine. There are seventy-five perfumes, which it is 
very necessary that a criminal expert should be able 
to distinguish from each other, and cases have more 
than once within my own experience depended up- 
on their prompt recognition. The scent suggested 
the presence of a lady, and already my thoughts be- 



lipan to turn towards the Stapletons. Thus I had 
made certain of the hound, and had guessed at the 
criminal before ever we went to the West Country. 

" It was my game to watch Stapleton. It was 
^ evident, however, that I could not do this if I were 

with you, since he would be keenly on his guard. I 
deceived everybody, therefore, yourself included, 
and I came down secretly when I was supposed to 
be in London. My hardships were not so great as 
you imagined, though such trifling details must 
never interfere with the investigation of a case. I 
stayed for the most part at Coombe Tracey, and 
only used the hut upon the moor when it was neces- 
sary to be near the scene of action. Cartwright 
had come down with me, and in his disguise as a 
country boy he was of great assistance to me. I 
was dependent upon him for food and clean linen. 
When I was watching Stapleton, Cartwright was 
frequently watching you, so that I was able to keep 
my hand upon all the strings. 

" I have already told you that your reports 
reached me rapidly, being forwarded instantly from 
Baker Street to Coombe Tracey. They were of 
great service to me, and especially that one inci- 
dentally truthful piece of biography of Stapleton's. 
I was able to establish the identity of the man and 
the woman, and knew at last exactly how I stood 
The case had been considerably complicated 
through the incident of the escaped convict and the 
Itlations between hiin and the Barrymores, Thif 



also you cleared up in a very effective way, thougli 
I had already come to the same conclusions from my 
own observations. 

" By the time that you discovered me upon the 
moor I had a complete knowledge of the whole 
business, but I had not a case which could go to a 
jury. Even Stapleton's attempt upon Sir Henry 
that night which ended in the death of the unfortu- 
nate convict did not help us much in proving mur- 
der against our man. There seemed to be no al- 
ternative but to catch him red-handed, and to do 
so we had to use Sir Henry, alone and apparently 
unprotected, as a bait. We did so, and at the cost 
of a severe shock to our client we succeeded in com- 
pleting our case and driving Stapleton to his de- 
struction. That Sir Henry should have been ex- 
posed to this is, I must confess, a reproach to my 
management of the case, but we had no means of 
foreseeing the terrible and paralyzing spectacle 
which the beast presented, nor could we predict the 
fog which enabled him to burst upon us at such 
short notice. We succeeded in our object at a cost 
which both the specialist and Dr. Mortimer assure 
me will be a temporary one. A long journey may 
enable our friend to recover not only from his shat- 
tered nerves, but also from his wounded feelings. 
His love for the lady was deep and sincere, and to 
him the saddest part of all this black business was 
that he should have beeft deceived by her. 

** It only remains to indicate the part which shd 



Siad played throughout. There can be no doubt 
that Stapleton exercised an influence over her 
which may 'have been love or ipay have been fear, 
or very possibly both, since they are by no means 
incompatible emotions. It was, at least, absolutely 
effective. At his command she consented to pass 
as his sister, though he found the limits of his power 
over her when he endeavoured to make her the di- 
rect accessory to murder. She was ready to warn 
Sir Henry so far as she could without implicating 
her husband, and again and again she tried to do so. 
Stapleton himself seems to have been capable of 
jealousy, and when he saw the baronet paying court 
to the lady, even though it was part of his own 
plan, still he could not help interrupting with a pas- 
sionate outburst which revealed the fiery soul which 
Us self-contained manner so cleverly concealed. 
By encouraging the intimacy he made it certain that 
Sir Henry would frequently come to Merripit 
House and that he would sooner or later get the 
opportunity which he desired. On the day of the 
crisis, however, his wife turned suddenly against 
him. She had learned something of the death of 
the convict, and she knew that the hound was be- 
ing kept in the out-house on the evening that Sir 
Henry was coming to dinner. She taxed her hus- 
band with his intended crime, and a furious scene 
followed, in which he showed her for the first time 
that she had a rival in his love. Her fidelity turned 
in an instant to bitter hatred and he saw that 8h# 



would betray him. He tied her up, therefore, that 
the might have no chance of warning Sir Henry, 
and he hoped, no doubt, that when the whole coun- 
tryside put down the baronet's death to the curse 
of his family, as they certainly would do, he could 
win his wife back to accept an accomplished fact 
and to keep silent upon what she knew. In this I 
fancy that in any case he made a miscalculation, and 
that, if we had not been there, his doom would none 
the less have been sealed. A woman of Spanish 
blood does not condone such an injury so lightly. 
And now, my dear Watson, without reterring to 
my notes, I cannot give you a more detailed ac- 
count of this curious case. I do not know that any- 
thing essential has been left unexplained." 

** He could not hope to frighten Sir Henry to 
death 20, he had done the old uncle with his bogie 

" The beast was savage and half-starved. If its 
appearance did not frighten its victim to death, at 
least it would paralyze the resistance which might 
be offered." 

" No doubt. There only remains one difficulty. 
If Stapleton came into the succession, how could he 
explain the fact that he, the heir, had been living 
unannounced under another name so close to the 
property? How could he claim it without causing ' 
suspicion and inquiry? " 

" It is a formidable difficulty, and I fear that you 
aak too much when you expect me to solve it. The 



past and the present are within the field of my iih* 
quiry, but what a man may do in the future is a 
hard question to answer. Mrs. Stapleton has 
heard her husband discuss the problem on several 
occasions. There were three possible courses. He 
might claim the property from South America, es- 
tablish his identity before the British authorities 
there, and so obtain the fortune without ever com- 
ing to England at all ; or he might adopt an elabo- 
rate disguise during the short time that he need be 
in London; or, again, he might furnish an accom- 
plice with the proofs and papers, putting him in as 
heir, and retaining a claim upon some proportion of 
his income. We cannot doubt from what we know 
of him that he would have found some way out of 
the difficulty And now, my dear Watson, we have 
had some weeks of severe work, and for one even- 
ing, I think, we may turn our thoughts into more 
pleasant channels. I have a box for * Les Hugue- 
nots.' Have you heard the De Reszkes? Might 
I trouble you then to be ready in half an hour, and 
we can stop at Marcini's for a little dinner on the 
way? "*